GOP blocks yet another Obama judge nominee

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HARRY REID. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)10% wants to change the Senate rules before Thanksgiving, which would eliminate the rights of the Senate minority:

With Senate Republicans blocking a third Obama nomination to the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide tells me Reid is now all but certain to move to change the Senate rules by simple majority — doing away with the filibuster on executive and judicial nominations, with the exception of the Supreme Court – as early as this week.

 

At a presser today, Reid told reporters he was taking another look at rules reform, but didn’t give a timeline. The senior leadership aide goes further, saying it’s hard to envision circumstances under which Reid doesn’t act.

When Harry Reid threatened the so-called “nuclear option” in the past, the Heritage Foundation explained how this erodes the rights of the minority:

By eliminating the rights of the minority party to extended debate, the nuclear option fundamentally alters the consensus-based nature of the Senate to resemble more closely the majoritarian House of Representatives. As Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky wrote, “It seems [Reid] wants the Senate to forsake its ‘advise and consent’ role and simply become a rubber stamp for presidential nominees, no matter how radical, extreme, or corrupt they may be.” Although Reid has said the change will only be for executive branch nominees, the practice could easily be applied to judicial nominations and legislation as well.

GOP blocks yet another Obama judge nominee – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.

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Nate Silver: GOP could take control of the Senate in 2014

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With former Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) deciding to pass on the open seat in Montana, the odds of a Republican takeover have increased, according to Nate Silver, a political analyst with an uncanny ability to predict elections.

Republicans already had a fair chance to take control of the Senate before Schweitzer’s surprising announcement this past weekend. But with six seats currently held by Democrats in traditionally red states, three of which will be open seats, the odds are beginning to look favorable for Republicans.

“The G.O.P.’s task will not be easy: the party holds 46 seats in the Senate, and the number will very probably be cut to 45 after a special election in New Jersey later this year,” wrote Silver at FiveThirtyEight. “That means that they would need to win a net of six contests from Democrats in order to control 51 seats and overcome Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s tiebreaking vote.”

“A race-by-race analysis of the Senate, in fact, suggests that Republicans might now be close to even-money to win control of the chamber after next year’s elections,” adds Silver. “Our best guess, after assigning probabilities of the likelihood of a G.O.P. pickup in each state, is that Republicans will end up with somewhere between 50 and 51 Senate seats after 2014, putting them right on the threshold of a majority.”

Silver predicts that Republicans will lose the seat in New Jersey, but pickup the open seats in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. That would give them 48 seats. He also gave Republicans even odds to pickup Arkansas and Louisiana, where incumbent Democrats, Sens. Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu, are vulnerable.

But Silver notes that Democrats have slightly better odds at holding onto seats in Alaska and North Carolina, where Republicans lack top-tier challengers against Sens. Mark Begich and Kay Hagan.

Nate Silver: GOP could take control of the Senate in 2014