The Nuclear Option Explosion


by Elizabeth Vale

November 21, 2013 should be remembered as the day that one party, the Democrat Party, went too far. One week before Thanksgiving the Senate Democrats passed a new rule with a small majority vote of 52-48 to invoke the nuclear option. While the White House and liberal Democrats may be able to give thanks for this unbelievable power grab, the rest of America should be very ungrateful.

For those of you who don’t know what this nuclear option is, it is a change in the senate rules that allows a simple majority, or 51 votes, to end debate and move to a majority vote on all executive and judicial appointments except for a Supreme Court appointment. Before the current nuclear option was invoked, a super majority of 60 votes was required to end debate on all appointments.

President Obama came out after the vote and said that this vote was necessary because “the gears of government have to work” and that what the Republicans were doing was “not what the founder’s envisioned”.

While this change in Senate rules only applies to judicial appointments, other than the Supreme Court nominees, it is still, as Vice President Biden would say, “a big *freaking* deal”. This power grab by the Democrats essentially gives President Obama and liberal Democrats an open door to appoint anyone and everyone they want to key court positions without any interference from the minority party.

The reason this is such a big deal is that President Obama has a specific agenda and in order to get that agenda pushed through with as little interference as possible he needs to have the DC Circuit Court appointments to be tipped in his favor. According to the Wall Street Journal, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit holds “a special place in the judicial hierarchy, serving as a crucible for the regulatory state and a proving ground for judges aspiring to the Supreme Court.”

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