Senate Republican Leaders Debate Over Filibuster Rules

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Senate Republican Leaders Debate Over Filibuster Rules

December 14, 2004

With speculation Chief Justice William Rehnquist might soon leave the Supreme Court because of illness; Senate Republican leaders are debating among themselves whether to change the rules regarding filibusters to make it easier for President Bush's nominees to be confirmed.

Currently, Senate rules require 60 votes to shutoff a filibuster.

There will be 55 Republicans in the Senate come January and not all are conservatives, meaning not all can be expected to vote for a pro-life nominee.

Democrats have blocked 10 of President Bush's 229 judicial nominees, but they were significant ones.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has hinted he might lead a fight to change the rules so that a simple majority would be enough to end filibusters.

He should, because majority rule has always been the policy of this country, until recently.

We don't require a 60 percent majority for elections.

If someone gets a one-vote majority, or even a plurality in some races, he or she wins.

Why should 60 votes be required to end a Senate filibuster?

My only question is whether the Republicans have the guts to do this.

I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.