By restoring the number of votes needed to confirm a nominee to a simple majority, not the super-majority required to end a filibuster, conservatives hope to stop the madness that has prevented 10 qualified judges from even getting an up-or-down vote over the past two years.
The issue isn't whether Democrats approve of the White House's nominees; it's that they have perverted parliamentary procedure to prevent those nominees from being voted on by the full Senate. That's the travesty the GOP is poised to reverse by restoring the 51-vote threshold needed for confirmation.
The Constitution gives the Senate the power to offer "advice and consent" on nominations to the bench, but liberals have interpreted that to mean that they have the power to "obstruct and prevent" qualified jurists from serving.
The GOP plan would correct that abuse by reaffirming 51 votes as the number needed to confirm a nominee.
Fifty-one votes is the legal and historical requirement for getting a nominee approved, not the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster, which Democrats have used to keep judges they oppose on ideological grounds off the bench. Republicans seek only to reinstate the traditional threshold.
This isn't about trying to pack the court with conservatives; it's about ensuring conservatives nominated to the courts get a "yea" or "nay" vote in the full Senate, which they have been denied by Democrats' obstructionism. The Republican majority wants to do nothing more than return to the 51-vote majority needed to confirm a judicial nominee.
Ed and Sue McMillian, Payson