The Senate made a big change in its procedures today, taking away the option to filibuster Presidential nominees. The vote was 52 to 48. The Democrats took this measure after Republicans filibustered three judicial nominations in a row.
I think this had to be done, because the Republicans forced the issue. But it's too bad that the option is gone. If it had only been used occasionally, it would be a useful tool for the minority to block the most outrageous nominations. But if it is going to be used routinely to block whole sets of nominations, it has to go.
This is another sign, I suppose, of the hardening of lines between American political parties. Americans political parties used to be loose clubs of like-minded people, or just historical accidents, but over the past twenty years they have become increasingly ideological and increasingly organized.
I wonder, will a President whose party does not control the Senate ever be able to nominate a judge again? Will they have to do deals in which the President and the Senate Majority Leader get equal numbers of picks?