In his State of the Union speech (at a point when most people had turned the channel or fallen asleep), the President called for an end to filibusters of presidential appointments.
“For starters, I ask the Senate to pass a simple rule that all judicial and public service nominations receive a simple up or down vote within 90 days.”
Strong words, as Ted Frank points out, from a man who voted to filibuster Justice Alito. And why the odd terminology of "public service nominations?" Why not just say "executive branch nominations?" Is it because he doesn't want to insult "independent agencies" by lumping them into the executive branch (which is where they belong)?
But on to the substance! Ricochet - what do you think? Should we get rid of the filibuster? My view is that the Constitution is neutral on the point, so the Senate can do as it pleases. Generally, I think that gridlock is a good thing, and so I'm reluctant to grease the wheels of the federal machine. But then again, shouldn't the president get to put a team in place on a majority vote? Perhaps Bork would be on the bench today, rather than Anthony Kennedy, if we had the "up or down vote" rule.