Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., issued the following statement today after Senate Democrats exercised the so-called “nuclear option,” forcing through a rules change that eliminates filibusters for most presidential nominations nominations.
“Today I joined a majority of my Senate colleagues in taking an important step to ensure highly-qualified, non-controversial judicial nominees, including Virginia’s own Pattie Millett, are given the up-or-down vote they deserve.
“What we have witnessed in the Senate in recent months is unprecedented. The only explanation for blocking the consideration of a nominee like Ms. Millett – a military spouse who has served under both Democratic and Republican Solicitor Generals, has argued more cases before the Supreme Court and circuit courts than all but a handful of attorneys and is uniformly praised by bar groups – is that Republicans have committed to pursuing a strategy of nullifying the law to achieve their goals. Their decision to block four highly-qualified nominees to the D.C. Circuit since I took office eleven months ago – three in the last three weeks alone – is proof that the goal was to nullify the law that says the D.C. Circuit has eleven judges.
“Today’s rules change will end this unprecedented abuse of the filibuster and allow us to begin to break through the gridlock that has frustrated Virginians and prevented us from tackling so many important issues facing our country.”