Monday, November 25, 2013

'Because ... he is Latino': The glorious history of the Democrats' filibuster fight

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s recent decision to scrap the filibuster is the culmination of a long escalation of partisan tensions in Washington. You could place the origin of this war where you like: Ted Kennedy’s smearing of Robert Bork, Mitch McConnell’s expanded use of filibusters, the growing alignment of the party along ideological lines or the centralization of government power in Washington.
I prefer to start the story with the time Democrats filibustered a qualified nominee for the crime of being Hispanic.  Go back to February 2003, the first weeks of a new Republican majority in the Senate, when Democrats were blocking a vote on D.C. court nominee Miguel Estrada. Liberal writer Dahlia Lithwick at Slate covered the upheaval around the filibuster and chastised Republicans for “the grotesque claim that Estrada is being blocked because he is Hispanic.”.....To Read More....

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