The GOP’s Nuclear Winter Strategy

Democrats changed the Senate rules to make it harder for Republicans to block President Obama’s nominees with a filibuster, but don’t cry for the minority. The GOP has a variety of other tactics it can use—and has been using—to deny confirmation of judges that Obama nominated in most cases many months ago. None are as obvious as the filibuster that Republicans routinely used to delay or derail nominees, but the Democrats’ decision to pull the trigger on the so-called nuclear option and allow a majority vote of 51 to end a filibuster, rather than the often insurmountable 60 votes, does not end Obama’s woes. Republicans can still filibuster, and there are a host of other time-honored traditions that can soak up the Senate’s time and prevent Obama from getting his nominees placed on the federal bench.