What a George Mason Expert Is Saying about…the Filibuster

Posted: May 31, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Jeremy Mayer
Jeremy Mayer
Courtesy Jeremy Mayer

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of occasional articles on what George Mason experts have to say about a current topic. These are personal opinions and do not reflect an endorsement by George Mason University.

Has the Senate resolved the issues of filibustering?

The solution hammered out by U.S. Senate moderates from both parties will earn everyone involved excellent press coverage for several weeks, according to Jeremy Mayer, assistant professor in the School of Public Policy.

“Interest groups on the left and the right who were hoping for a cataclysmic showdown are disappointed by this resolution, particularly those on the right. However, the question remains whether the compromise will hold if President George Bush seeks to place strong social conservatives on the Supreme Court. Some centrists hope for more consultations between Bush and senators from both parties, particularly if a Supreme Court nomination is being considered. But Bush has shown little inclination to consult with Democrats about court nominations in the past.

“The true test will come if Bush gets the opportunity to replace a pro-choice justice on the current Supreme Court. Democrats in the Senate may not wage all-out war if Bush tries to put an anti-Roe v. Wade justice in place of a conservative like Chief Justice William Rehnquist. However, if the seat in question is that currently held by Sandra Day O’Connor, John Paul Stevens, or Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the pressure on Senate Democrats to filibuster a pro-life nominee would be very strong. It is conceivable that Bush could get two, three, or even four nominations in the next two years. Multiple nominations to the Supreme Court will put this recent compromise to the greatest possible test.”

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