Republicans on Wednesday launched an all-night talkathon on the floor of the Senate to protest the judicial nomination of a “liberal ideologue” they no longer have the power to filibuster.
A sign that Republicans expect their protest to last late into the night, before the Senate votes on the nomination of Cornelia Pillard: cots were rolled into the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon as the speeches started.
The GOP is using the confirmation of Pillard — nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — to highlight how “the Democrat Majority’s power grab” is preventing Republicans from doing anything to stop a “liberal ideologue” from serving on the federal bench.
Last month, Senate Democrats — led by Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader — took the drastic step of changing the body’s rules to prevent Republicans from being able to filibuster most of the president’s nominees.
By employing the nuclear option, Democrats changed the rules so that nomination voted on by the Senate — such as cabinet positions or appeals court judges — only need a majority of votes to pass, instead of the traditional 60 votes.
On Wednesday, Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell suggested Pillard’s far-left views would have precluded her ascension to the Circuit Court, had Democrats not gutted the filibuster.
“Professor Pillard may be a fine person, but she is not someone who should receive a lifetime position on the second highest court in the land,” he said. “She will be confirmed, however, because of the Democrat Majority’s power grab.”
“A review of her legal views makes one thing clear: the nominee before us is a liberal ideologue — in other words, just the kind of person this administration was looking for to rubber stamp its most radical legislative and regulatory proposals on the D.C. Circuit Court,” he said.
Conservative legal analyst Ed Whelan believes that Pillard could plausibly become “the most left-wing judge in the history of the Republic.”
One source told The Daily Caller that a majority of Republican senators are expected to participate in the talkathon.