S2 E26: Supreme Court Confirmations and the Nuclear Option

Darren explains basic parliamentary procedures regarding how organizations may govern meetings and decision making, such as following Roberts Rules of Order. He speaks about how the Chairperson or President of the organization may wield a lot of power, depending on the organization’s bylaws and what is allowed. Darren compares these basics to how the US Senate governs its operations and decision making. And finally how the Democrats in 2013 got around their own rules that require at least 60 senators to approve new judges, by using a quirk in their procedures which is now dubbed as the “Nuclear Option”. This quirk in procedures allowed them to change their own rules to only require a simple majority senate vote, to appoint federal judges, rather than the typical 60+ votes required for legislation votes. The Democrats excluded votes for Supreme Court Justices. However in April 2017, the Republicans were now in power and they used the same Nuclear Option to get around standard votes, and they expanded on the Democrats then new rule for federal judges, but now Supreme Court justices could be appointed by a simple majority vote. And with Republicans in power, they are now able to appoint a conservative majority to the US Supreme Court. Trump has been able to appoint 25% of the federal judges now on the bench throughout the nation, all of whom are conservative judges who can influence laws and decisions/rulings for a lifetime.

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