I heard about this vote a while back and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. You hear about this all the time. The majority party (regardless of whether they are Democrat or Republican) wants to change filibuster rules.
This year the number of bills passed has been the lowest since Congress was formed. NBC calls it “Do-Nothing” Congress. USA Today describes the 2011-12 period as the “least productive year on record” and 2013 as being on track as the “least productive single year in modern history.”
The question is then, do we need filibuster reform? The answer is yes. To what extent? This is heavily contested.
The Senate approved the most fundamental alteration of its rules by ending the minority’s party ability to filibuster most presidential nominees in response to the partisan gridlock that has plagued Congress. (NY Times article).
Under the change, the Senate will be able to cut off debate on executive and judicial branch nominees with a simple majority rather than rounding up a supermajority of 60 votes. This does not apply to all nominees, such as Supreme Court nominees.
via In Landmark Vote, Senate Limits Use of the Filibuster – NYTimes.com.
Filed under federal, rules
Minnesota Lawyer Blog brings to our attention that a new advisory committee has been formed to recommend a new U.S. Attorney.
The current U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones has been nominated to serve as the permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and his confirmation hearing is expected to be held soon, the release states.
Judge Timothy O’Malley of the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings and the former head of Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will chair the committee, which will also include Annamarie Daley, a Minneapolis attorney in private practice; former U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger; Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall; Donald Lewis, Dean of Hamline Law School; retired St. Louis County Judge Carol Person; and Chief Thomas Smith of the St. Paul Police Department.
The committee will review letters of interest, conduct interviews, and offer guidance to Klobuchar and Franken. In the press release, Klobuchar stated that the candidate should be a seasoned, respected attorney who is fair-minded, able to work productively with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and who is committed to seeing that justice is done under the law and for the people of Minnesota.
Those wishing to be considered for the position of U.S. Attorney should submit letters of interest by June 3, 2013 to: Judge Timothy O’Malley, U.S. Attorney Advisory Committee, c/o Caroline Holland, Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar, 1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Letters may also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
via Senators’ committee will advise on new U.S. attorney – MinnLawyer Blog.
There is much talk on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that the President’s NLRB recess appointments was unconstitutional.
Shortly thereafter, the NLRB released a press release stating:
The Board respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the President’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld. It should be noted that this order applies to only one specific case, Noel Canning, and that similar questions have been raised in more than a dozen cases pending in other court of appeals.
Below is a compilation of pending cases, as put together by SCOTUS Blog by Lyle Denniston:
- D.C. Circuit — fifteen other challenges pending, most if not all of which will be decided on the basis of last Friday’s ruling. The cases are either in the briefing stage, or awaiting a briefing schedule.
- Second Circuit — one case, in briefing.
- Third Circuit — three cases, one set for argument March 19 NLRB v. New Vista Nursing, docket 11-3440; one case being held for that case, another in briefing.
- Fourth Circuit — four cases, one set for argument March 22 NLRB v. Enterprise Leasing Co. SE, docket 12-1514; others in briefing.
- Fifth Circuit — one case, in briefing.Sixth Circuit — one case, in briefing.
- Seventh Circuit — two cases: one decided, but not on the merits of the appointments power; one in briefing.Ninth Circuit — one case, in briefing.
- Eleventh Circuit — one case, in briefing.
- The only federal appeals courts in which no such cases are pending are the First, Eighth, and Tenth.
via Spreading challenge to appointment power UPDATED : SCOTUSblog.
Ten members of Congress from both parties sued President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for going to war in Libya and other countries without a declaration of war from Congress.