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Argument: Filibuster ensures better justices are nominated and confirmed

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"A response to arguments that a filibuster on the Estrada nomination is unprecedented or inappropriate." National Women's Law Center: "This tactic is more justified now than ever: the Senate is the last line of defense against an effort to pack the courts with right-wing ideologues. Some in the Senate are trying to take advantage of vacancies left on the courts as a result of their own success in blocking Clinton Administration nominees, and pack the judiciary with ultra-conservative ideologues. If they succeed, the federal courts all across the country will be dominated by judges who do not support civil and women’s rights or protections for workers or the environment.

[...] The need for a 60-vote majority should lead the Administration to seek the Senate’s “advice” as well as its consent -- and to submit consensus nominees -- and should require nominees to be more forthcoming about their views. The failure to invoke cloture on legislation – or the mere threat of a cloture vote and the need for a 60-vote majority – often forces proponents of a measure to agree to compromises to gain passage. Similarly, the failure to invoke cloture on judicial nominations – or the prospect of needing 60 votes for a nomination to move forward – should lead the Bush Administration to consult with potential Senate opponents and agree to submit more moderate nominees, as happened during the Clinton Administration. It should also make clear that stonewalling the Judiciary Committee is unacceptable and a recipe for the nominee’s rejection."

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