In response to unprecedented Republican obstructionism, Senate Democrats have voted to change Senate rules regarding the filibustering of most presidential nominees. Media Matters looks back at the numerous conservatives who, during the Bush administration, decried filibustering and supported the tactic Democrats have now enacted.
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A New York Times article reported that President Obama faces a "threat from Senate Republicans, who earlier this month threatened ... to block his judicial nominees by filibuster." But the Times failed to point out that several of the same Senate Republicans who signed onto the letter "threaten[ing] ... to block [Obama's] judicial nominees by filibuster" have previously challenged the constitutionality of filibustering judicial nominees.
The Politico and Roll Call both reported on a letter sent by Senate Republicans to President Obama stating that if they "are not consulted on, and approve of, a nominee from our states," they would filibuster judicial nominations -- but neither article noted that several of those Republicans previously challenged the constitutionality of filibustering judicial nominees.
On Fox News, The Washington Examiner's Bill Sammon said of House Democrats' move to suspend the 60-day requirement for voting on the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement: "I call it more like the 'nuclear option,' because that's what the Democrats called the Republican threat to change the rules back when they were trying to get judges through." Sammon was referring to a 2005 Republican-proposed Senate rule change that would have effectively eliminated the ability to filibuster judicial nominations. But the term "nuclear option," as it pertains to judicial filibusters, was originally coined by Republican Sen. Trent Lott -- not by Democrats.
A New York Times op-ed by Martin B. Gold and Dimple Gupta that criticized legislation changing Senate rules to "make it easier for last-minute proposals to be inserted into legislation behind closed doors" identified the writers only as "lawyers and former Congressional aides." In fact, both previously served as aides to Senate Republicans -- Gold for former Majority Leader Bill Frist and Gupta for Sen. Arlen Specter during Specter's tenure as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger falsely claimed in his January 13 column that Democrats had "deliver[ed] yet another innovation" in their use of the filibuster to block Bush judicial nominees. In fact, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, Republicans have used the filibuster and other tactics to block Democratic nominees.