Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (left) talks about Goodwin Liu, judicial nominee for a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in the Capitol. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Daniel Inouye also appear.
In 2005, the bipartisan gang of 14 blocked then-Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) from invoking the “constitutional option” or “nuclear option,” which would have forced a Senate rules change to bar filibusters of judicial nominees. The agreement in 2005 held that the seven Democrats and seven Republicans in the pact would only filibuster a judicial nominee under “extraordinary circumstances.” After that group established its rules, several nominees whom Democrats had been blocking since 2003 were confirmed.
Just last week, Republicans also successfully blocked Obama’s nominee for deputy Attorney General, James Cole.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.