President Barack Obama is not the only one calling for reform of the filibuster this week. Progressive blogger Matthew Yglesias talked with ACSblog about the filibuster's impact on the judicial confirmations process, following a lunchtime discussion with members of ACS's Washington, D.C. Chapter on unprecedented abuse of the filibuster and prospects for change.
Yglesias, a fellow with the Center for American Progress Action Fund, explained that use of the filibuster used to be rare, but that in recent years, "it's become the case that absolutely everything is put up for a 60-vote threshold. We've seen a huge increase in the use of somewhat obscure procedural tactics purely to delay things, so that even when the votes exist to pass a measure or confirm somebody, it can take many many days' worth of Senate floor time to actually get that vote scheduled."
This delay takes a particular toll on the confirmation process, because no one nomination seems worth the time it would take to get to a vote, even when the nominee easily has the votes to be confirmed, Yglesias explained.
"We have a huge number of vacancies and no real prospect for getting them filled unless there's some kind of change in the procedures," Yglesias said.
Watch the interview below, or click here to download it as a podcast:
Visit JudicialNominations.org to learn more about the judicial vacancies crisis and track developments.