When Democrats Opposed Changing The Filibuster
FLASHBACK–Reid:Effort to Curtail Filibuster ‘Is About the Arrogance of Power’
On Jan. 4, 2005, at the start of the 109th Congress, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn) expressed support for changing Senate rules related to judicial nominations if Senate Democrats continued to filibuster President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees.
Frist specifically called for changing the rules to allow a simple majority of 51 senators to end debate on a judicial nominee and bring the nomination to a confirmation vote in the full Senate. Under the existing rule, a two-thirds vote is needed to break a filibuster, including one against a judicial nominee.
In May 2005, the so-called “Gang of 14” made up of Democratic and Republican senators agreed to break with party leadership. These Democrats said they would no longer filibuster nominees except under “extraordianry circumstances,” and the Republicans said they would not support changing the Senate rules.