Monday, May 25, 2009

Sen. Nelson (D-NE) Open to Filibustering Obama Court Nominee

From Sam Stein at HuffPo:

President Obama said on Saturday that a Supreme Court nominee is coming soon, but Republicans in the Senate have spent weeks working to frame the type of judicial resume that would be unacceptable on the bench. On Sunday, the GOP got what could be a bit of a boost, as a key moderate Democrat left the door open to filibustering a possible Obama Court nominee.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Ben Nelson warned the president against appointing an activist judge to replace the retiring David Souter. In the process, the Nebraska Democrat acknowledged that the scenario could present itself where he joined the GOP in voting against cloture.

"I think that's the test, will they be an activist or not?" Nelson said. "And I would hope that there wouldn't be any circumstances that would be so extreme with any of the president's nominees that the other side would feel the need to filibuster or that I might feel the need to filibuster in the case of extraordinary circumstances."

I think a lot of this has more to do than with the fact that Nelson is a very conservative Democrat. The conservative Democrats have more clout now than they have ever had. They're really the kingmakers.

I think their egos are getting in the way here. They can pretty much get whatever they personally want by threatening to vote for Republicans.

All that power's going to Nelson's head. The question is, what are moderate and progressive Democrats going to do about it?