WASHINGTON -- A scenario for an unspecified day in 2005: One of President Bush's judicial nominations is brought to the Senate floor. Majority Leader Bill Frist makes a point of order that only a simple majority is needed for confirmation. The point is upheld by the presiding officer, Vice President Dick Cheney. Democratic Leader Harry Reid challenges the ruling. Frist moves to table Reid's motion, ending debate. The motion is tabled, and the Senate proceeds to confirm the judicial nominee -- all in about 10 minutes.
Frist drew a line in the sand Nov. 11 in addressing the conservative Federalist Society: "One way or another, the filibuster of judicial nominees must end." The way he indicated was a rules change -- the nuclear option.
That generated speculation that, when the new Senate convenes on Jan. 4, the Republican leadership will propose a rules change. Reid, the Senate's reigning master of parliamentary tactics, has promised to "screw things up" by bringing the chamber's activities to a standstill. Frist would only tell me he wants "a full set of options, ready and available." However, Senate sources believe Frist will bide his time on opening day and wait to make a point of order to change the rules.
Could we be nearing the end of the "filibuster" tactic that the Dems invented? It would be nice to see the GOP with some courage in 2005. We need conservative judges in America...badly.