Another reason Senate Dems will rue the day they ended the filibuster

Rosslyn Smith
One reason senators of both parties liked the ability to filibuster judicial appointments was because it allowed them to have it all ways.  The could tell the party whip they would vote "aye" on a controversial nominee- pleasing party activists in the process- secure in the knowledge that their vote would not come back to haunt them in a general election because the other party would effectively filibuster the nominee.  Often the controversial nominees wouldn't even make it out of committee.  Now, as with the passage of Obamacare, every Senate vote in favor of a controversial judicial nominee could be the deciding vote with future reelection implications.   This has the potential to open up a huge can of worms in what has often been a courtesy approval of federal judges to sit in other Senator's states and federal appellate districts.

A nomination deemed dead on arrival because of a filibuster often wasn't considered "score-able" by advocacy groups.   Now every nominee has the potential of being scored because it is assumed they will all come up for a floor vote on the merits.  Will the Democrat Senators from states such as Colorado, Montana, Arkansas and Louisiana appreciate being held accountable for voting "aye" in approval of a federal judicial nominee known to be extremely hostile to gun control who got the nod from a senior senator from California, New York or Massachusetts?    The NRA could have a field day with this. So could anti-abortion groups.  Expect the Chambers of Commerce to pipe in judicial nominees who seem predisposed to approve all types of environmental and other regulatory overreach.   It makes ever single judicial confirmation a potential scored vote on some advocacy group's Senate scorecard.

Life just got a lot more interesting for Democrat Senators in conservative-leaning states.

One reason senators of both parties liked the ability to filibuster judicial appointments was because it allowed them to have it all ways.  The could tell the party whip they would vote "aye" on a controversial nominee- pleasing party activists in the process- secure in the knowledge that their vote would not come back to haunt them in a general election because the other party would effectively filibuster the nominee.  Often the controversial nominees wouldn't even make it out of committee.  Now, as with the passage of Obamacare, every Senate vote in favor of a controversial judicial nominee could be the deciding vote with future reelection implications.   This has the potential to open up a huge can of worms in what has often been a courtesy approval of federal judges to sit in other Senator's states and federal appellate districts.

A nomination deemed dead on arrival because of a filibuster often wasn't considered "score-able" by advocacy groups.   Now every nominee has the potential of being scored because it is assumed they will all come up for a floor vote on the merits.  Will the Democrat Senators from states such as Colorado, Montana, Arkansas and Louisiana appreciate being held accountable for voting "aye" in approval of a federal judicial nominee known to be extremely hostile to gun control who got the nod from a senior senator from California, New York or Massachusetts?    The NRA could have a field day with this. So could anti-abortion groups.  Expect the Chambers of Commerce to pipe in judicial nominees who seem predisposed to approve all types of environmental and other regulatory overreach.   It makes ever single judicial confirmation a potential scored vote on some advocacy group's Senate scorecard.

Life just got a lot more interesting for Democrat Senators in conservative-leaning states.