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May 13, 2005


More interestingly, McCarthy freely admits elsewhere that his argument applies with equal force to non-judicial nominees. Of course, many of the GOP talking points ("no judicial nominee with clear majority support, blah blah blah") depend on the notion that only judicial nominees are at issue.

Of course, there is a long, long history of executive nominees being filibustered by both parties, that no one can deny with Fortas-like dodges. So are we missing an opportunity here, to force the Republicans to explain how they can possibly claim judges are any different than non-judges? If anything, of course, you'd think a lifetime appointment would be MORE difficult to confirm, but I'm completely unable to think of a principled reason why judges should be immune from filibuster but other nominees should not. In fact, I can't even think of a non-principled reason.

There is no reason. But that's never stopped them in the past. They think there's some advantage to making this a "tactical" nuclear option, even though it suffers from a lack of intellectual honesty and consistency.

Of course, the Bolton nomination faces considerable opposition on the floor, and his appointment will require advice and consent just the same as any judge. That's why I had secretly hoped he'd escaped the committee the first time, and been filibustered heading into Justice Sunday.

Not that they would have been foolish enough to actually resort to the nuclear option for Bolton in advance of their big PR effort on judges, but it would have been interesting to watch.

If they ever pull off the nuclear option, I look for them to suddenly "realize" that their logic applies to non-judicial nominees as well, the same way they just now "realized" that it's unconstitutional to filibuster a judge after doing it for years.

I guess that depends either on what happens with the Bolton nomination, or who wins the White House in '08.

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