17
Feb
13

The Hagel Battle is Actually a Dry Run for the Next Justice Fight

Compare that Russian meteor hit earlier this week to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. Got that? Now think about the Chuck Hagel filibuster — and what we can expect if a Supreme Court seat opens up sometime soon.

The Hagel filibuster seems to have fired up interest in Senate procedure, but it’s actually a little difficult to figure out what, if anything, is so unprecedented. The one thing that’s clearly new is that it’s the first time a cabinet nominee has lost a cloture vote. However, it’s certainly not the first time that 60 votes was required for a cabinet post; it’s not the first time that a cabinet nomination was delayed by opposition; and if current reports are correct, it won’t be the first time a cabinet nomination has been defeated by a filibuster. It certainly isn’t the first time a cloture vote has failed on an executive branch pick, or even a high-profile pick.

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