Filibusters and the Constitution
November 12, 2003Reid Alan Cox, Tammi Kannar, Allyson Newton Ho, Evan Rikhye
Renowned former Senate historian Floyd Riddick once said that Senators are expected to "restrain themselves" and "not abuse the privilege of debate." Yet today, a partisan minority of Senators has launched unprecedented filibusters to block the confirmation of the President’s judicial nominees by preventing a bipartisan majority of Senators from even calling a vote on their nominations. This wrangling has constitutional dimensions, raising important questions about the Senate’s role in the judicial confirmation process under the Advise and Consent Clause.