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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Lott endorses "nuclear option" and "sooner rather than later"

This article from The Hill contains an on-the-record quote from Senator Lott that he supports changing Senate rules to permit 51 Senators to confirm a judicial nominee. And Lott notes that he supports changing the rules "sooner rather than later." This is the most explicit indication I've seen so far that the "nuclear option" is very much on the table, at least for some Republicans. Senator Lott's views on this issue may be more relevant than those of the average Senator, considering that he is the chairman of the Senate's Rules and Administration Committee.

Lott has always been extremely intersted in seeing Charles Pickering confirmed to the Fifth Circuit and this may motivate his push for this rule change. Incidentally, one must wonder why the opposition to Pickering among democrats has been so fierce. Pickering has always been a rather moderate judge in his rulings (why do you think mega-trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs supports his nomination?), and his age ensures that he won't be on the Fifth Circuit very long regardless. Indeed, he has openly talked about retiring. That being the case, it appears that he is more of a symbolic target for Democrats, in light of certain race-related skeletons in his closet.

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