The Corner

An Asymmetric Deal

Here’s what the Democrats commit to in the future: “Nominees should only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist.” Here’s what the Republicans commit to: “In light of the spirit and continuing commitments made in this agreement, we commit to oppose the rules changes in the 109th Congress. . .”

So: Democrats can filibuster nominees in “extraordinary circumstances,” to be determined according to the “discretion and judgment” of Ralph Neas–I mean, of each individual senator. Republicans, on the other hand, are not getting any wiggle room to vote for a rules change in “extraordinary circumstances”–such as the Democrats’ abuse of their wiggle room. It looks as though the majority party got taken in this deal.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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