Sinema Says Filibuster Should Be Expanded to Make It Harder to Confirm Judges

At an event with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) on Monday, embattled conservative Democrat Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) said that she wants to expand the use of the filibuster, an arcane Senate rule that she’s used as an excuse to block her own party’s legislative efforts over the past two years.

Sinema gives a speech emphasizedShe is committed to keeping the anti-democratic filibusterIn an event the supposed importance of bipartisanshipat the McConnell Center of the University of Louisville. She said, falselyIt is believed that the filibuster improves bipartisanship and should be extended for that reason, even though opponents of the filibuster believe otherwise. have pointed out that it actually promotesMinority rule

“Not only am I committed to the 60 vote threshold — I have an incredibly unpopular view — I actually think we should restore the 60-vote threshold for the areas in which it has been eliminated already,” she said, to scattered applause.

“Because it would make it harder. It would make it harder for us to confirm judges, it would make it harder for us to confirm executive appointments in each administration,” she continued. “But I believe that if we did restore it, we would actually see more of that middle ground in all parts of our governance.”

McConnell introduced Sinema before her speech, calling her “the most effective first-term senator I’ve seen in my time in the Senate.”

The Arizona senator also railed against Democrats and opponents of the filibuster for wanting to “give into” their “short-term desires” like passing voting rights legislation, protecting democracy, salvaging a liveable climate, protecting workersEmployers that are more exploitative Steps to end child poverty, Codifying life-saving protections against abortion, and more — all proposals that have been blocked in the past two years by Sinema or another lawmaker via the filibuster.

Republicans could use the filibuster to expand their ability to influence the Supreme Court by expanding the Senate confirmation process. When Barack Obama was president the filibuster was eliminated by Democrats. non-Supreme CourtNominations to the judiciary after RepublicansMcConnell was the leader. blocked dozens of the Democratic president’s appointments for what Democrats said were purely political reasons.

Indeed, Republicans love it when Republicans retook power of the Senate in 2015, they continued blocking Obama’s nominations and at the end of his presidency waged a historic blockade of judicial nominees — including the nomination of Obama’s Democratic Supreme court pick Merrick Garland. The party was dissolved after Donald Trump became president. rushed through Trump’s nominations, ended the filibuster for the Supreme Court, and confirmed a record numberof judges.

If the filibuster had still been in place during the Trump years, Democrats could have used it to block some of Trump’s picks, none of whom receivedThey have enough votes to pass the 60-vote filibuster. But it’s also possible that they wouldn’t have; political experts sayFilibuster benefits Republicans more than Democrats who want to disrupt the regulatory aspects of the government. often capitulate toRepublicans, even if they have no political upside.

Indeed, the increasing weaponization of the filibuster from the right in the past decade and Democrats’ continual and futileBiden’s obsession with bipartisanship is likely to make it difficult or impossible for future Democratic presidents to succeed at any of their nominations by restoring the filibuster.

Thanks at least in part to Sinema’s defense of the filibuster and blocking of important Democratic priorities, Sinema’s approval rating is low among her constituents, recent polling has found. A poll of Arizona commissioned by the AARPThe poll found that her approval is below 50% for all demographics. The poll revealed that voters of all ages, including Black and Latinx, Democratic, Republican, Independent, and Republican, have a negative view of Sinema. In each category, over 50% disapprove of Sinema.