Both Parties Make Gains From Senate Rule Change

( – The filibuster allows one political party to block a vote until the other side can secure 60 votes. It used to be available for almost any matter that came on the Senate floor until a rule change in 2013, which ended up benefiting everyone.

On November 21, 2013, Democrats in the Senate ended the use of the filibuster when confirming federal judges, with the exception of Supreme Court justices. In 2017, the GOP ended the rule for Supreme Court nominees. The result of both rule changes means it only takes a simple majority vote of 51 to confirm any judicial nominee.

The aftermath of the change in the filibuster has benefited both parties. Power changes often in Washington, D.C. One side is always the underdog. Because of the nuking of the filibuster rule for judicial candidates, each side has had the chance to confirm their parties’ nominees quickly.

Democrats were able to push through over 100 nominees under President Obama; Republicans had historic success with President Trump’s nominees, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. And now, Democrats are filling federal court openings at a high rate of speed as a result of both parties’ rule changes over the last decade.

Of course, each side was vehemently against the other’s proposed rule changes. Nobody wants to lose power, which is what happened for the minority with each change of the filibuster rule. With Justice Stephen Breyer stepping down from the Supreme Court, Democrats will be in a strong position to confirm their nominee as the new rules continue to expedite the confirmation process.

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