The Corner

re: gang of 14 haters

John: Pardon me, but I don’t follow your point on the post below.  An initial aside: I don’t know that I qualify as a “hater” of the Gang of 14 agreement because any assessment of it requires an answer to the question, “Compared to what?” If indeed it was true that the Senate would have achieved cloture reform but for the agreement, then I think that the agreement was very bad. But I’ve always been a skeptic that the votes would really have been there.  The best argument against cloture reform is that it would deprive Republicans of the use of the filibuster when they encountered objectionable nominees of a Democratic president. I find that argument very unpersuasive because I don’t believe that Republicans would ever actually use the filibuster.  But on your point I simply don’t see how the existence of a Democratic majority in the Senate provides any argument at all against the desirability of cloture reform. Democrats won’t have to resort to the filibuster as frequently, but when they do they will be better positioned to make it stick. So, yes, I now wish all the more that the judicial filibuster had been abolished.


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