Failing the Hillary Test
By now you have probably heard about the latest move by the Senate Rules Committee: passing, in a voice vote in which no Democrats were present, a measure proposed by Bill Frist to “provide for a series of cloture votes, where the threshold would gradually decrease until only a simple majority is required to overcome it [a filibuster of a judicial nominee].” Fortunately, as The Hill reports, “Under Senate rules, a two-thirds majority vote is required to overcome a filibuster of a rules change, giving a disciplined minority the ability to stop the GOP effort in its tracks.” So the Democrats will have to filibuster the Republican’s anti-filibuster measure in order to continue the Democratic filibuster of Bush’s far-right nominees to the Appellate Courts.
So it’s probably much ado about nothing, but the Republicans really are huffing and puffing over this issue. I suggest they take the Hillary TestTM, which I believe was originally used in the context of the Patriot Act’s substantial expansion of the Attorney General’s power:
Would you want Hillary Clinton to have these powers if she were Attorney General?
I recommend that Republicans think carefully about this Hillary test:
Would you want to rule out the filibuster option if Hillary Clinton were Senate Majority Leader?
I’m pretty sure the answer is “No!”