The Nuclear, or Constitutional Option, according to VP Cheney
Here's what the Vice President said about the filibusters yesterday:
"HH: Last question, Mr. Vice President. Back to the Senate on judges. The nuclear option is much discussed, the Constitutional option as Senator Hatch calls it, the lead story in the New Yorker. Do you expect to have to make that ruling of whether or not it is out of order to filibuster judges?
VP: Well, the way I think I would describe it is we believe what the Democrats have done, with respect to filibustering judges for the first time in the history of the Republic, is just fundamentally wrong. We've gone through more than 200 years of history without having the filibuster applied to judicial nominations. And if we let that precedent stand, we'll have altered, to some extent, the relationship between the Executive and Legislative, and we will have undermined the president's authority to appoint nominees to the federal bench. We think it's important that nominees come to an up or down vote. If they don't have the votes, they should be defeated. That's altogether proper. That's the way the system is supposed to work. But when we get into the situation we're in now, where they pick out an individual because of his or her views, and mount a filibusters, requiring us, in effect, to get 60 votes to confirm a nominee, we think that's just wrong. How this is going to play out in the months ahead is as yet undetermined. But obviously, I would expect to be in the middle of it as the President of the Senate and the individual who would preside over the Senate should such a rule become necessary."That about sums it up for me.