filibuster

As Democrats consider whether to use the so-called nuclear option to rewrite the Senate’s filibuster rules, one issue in particular has some liberals worried: abortion.

Changing the rules to make it easier to confirm President Barack Obama’s executive branch or judicial appointments may help the White House in the short term…. But privately, that base and abortion rights supporters are concerned how a future GOP president and Senate could take advantage of the new setup.

One Democratic aide described abortion rights groups as “wary of using the nuclear option to lower the threshold to 50 votes for judges because they’re afraid of what it could mean for women’s health,” although no group would go on the record, citing sensitive congressional negotiations. And several Democratic senators agreed the future of abortion rights is one of the top concerns for the party in the fight over rules….

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has threatened to use the nuclear option to speed things up. Simply put, the Senate would vote by a simple majority to prohibit filibusters on certain types of nominations – bringing the threshold to 50 votes rather than the 60 needed to break a filibuster.

~ Politico, June 6

[Photo from classic movie, Mr. Smith goes to Washington, where Jimmy Stewart plays a new ideological senator who filibusters for 24 hours straight to spotlight his cause]