Sometimes, Consistency Is No Hobgoblin at All

When Senate Democrats abolished the filibuster for nominations to federal district courts and courts of appeal, they made sure to preserve it for Supreme Court nominations. Apparently, while Senate Democrats were outraged that President Obama’s nominations to lower courts were getting filibustered, they still feared the possibility that a Republican might become president and might choose Supreme Court nominees whom they didn’t like. So, Senate Democrats wanted to make sure that they would still be able to filibuster those nominees.

Apart from the fact that this rule was convenient for Senate Democrats, it made no sense whatsoever. If judicial filibusters are bad, then they should be considered bad across the board, not just for lower court nominations. The design of the rule against judicial filibusters should have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that one party wants to have its cake and eat it too. So, Senate Republicans are set to abolish Supreme Court filibusters.

It’s worth noting that in making this change, Senate Republicans are being more solicitous of Democratic concerns than Democrats were when they changed the rules on judicial filibusters. As the linked story points out, Senate Republicans are seeking two-thirds approval for their proposal, while Senate Democrats rammed their proposal through via a simple majority. It would be nice if more media outlets noticed that Senate Republicans are being more equitable to Senate Democrats than Senate Democrats were to Senate Republicans, but I don’t expect much from the media these days.

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