Senate Democratic leaders on Thursday moved to fundamentally alter the rules governing the chamber's filibuster rule after Republicans repeatedly rejected President Obama's nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court.
The change, approved 52-48, would prevent the minority party from using the filibuster to stall most judicial or Executive Branch nominees, but would not eliminate the use of the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees or legislation.
Judicial and administration nominees once needed 60 votes to advance to an up or down vote on the Senate floor, giving Republicans an opportunity to block them. Under the rule change, only a simple majority would be needed to advance the nominees, so that Democrats, who control 55 votes, can do so without Republican interference.