|Fact Sheet: History Of The United States Filibuster|
The constitutional option, or as some call it, the nuclear option, is about democracy. The majority rules. Some debate whether that is a good form of Government, but, until God establishes His Kingdom, it seems to be the least abusive. The constitutional option is about applying the Constitution as the Constitution was written. The Republicans had a right to exercise it, and, although they showed weak leadership, and failed exercise it. The Democrats and the liberal media had a perfect right to howl long and hard and to try to sway public opinion. That's America, just a temporary government. Thy Kingdom come, Lord Jesus.
"The recent use of filibuster to prevent the President's judicial nominees from receiving an up-or-down vote in the full Senate is, if not unprecedented, at least very rare and a recent phenomenon. Save for the large number now being filibustered by Senate Democrats, the only previous use was during the confirmation of Abe Fortas for promotion from a Supreme Court justice to chief justice. In 1968, Republicans were concerned about the ascension of a liberal justice following the expansive rulings of the previous Warren Court. However, the Abe Fortas case was atypical since it was revealed in hearings that Fortas kept President Lyndon Johnson informed of the secret deliberations of the Court and had accepted what seemed to be excessive and inappropriate private payments for teaching a summer course at American University. This is hardly the precedent, Democrats should base their current opposition to nominees for whom the only objection is one of political philosophy."
"Byrd made clear that if his rules-change proposal were filibustered, he would invoke the Senate's powers under the U.S. Constitution to force a vote. Byrd never carried out his threat to use the "constitutional option." He never had to. His threat to use it was enough to break the opposition and secure a vote on his rules-change proposal.
Byrd has not been alone, either in his views or his tactics. The constitutional option has been endorsed, explicitly or implicitly, by three U.S. Vice Presidents and three times, by the Senate itself. Moreover, on three occasions prior to 1979, a majority had used the threat of the constitutional option to force a formal change to the Senate Standing Rules."
Last updated: Aug, 2010
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