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FLASHBACK Harry Reid: A Filibuster Should Only Be Used for Impeachment and Treaties

In November 2013, Senate Democrats held a press conference to discuss their vote for eliminating the filibuster for most presidential nominations. Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) declared during that press conference that, “the founding fathers were very clear in what they thought there should be supermajorities [for]. Impeachments. And, of course, on treaties.”

Now, though, Senate Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), are threatening to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch citing a precedent that most Supreme Court nominees receive 60 votes.

However, they might want to listen to their former leader’s thoughts on when to filibuster. It should be noted that both Schumer and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) were at Reid’s press conference. At the time, Reid said:

“For the first 140 years as a country, there were no filibusters. The founding fathers were very clear in what they thought there should be supermajorities [for]. Impeachments. And, of course, on treaties. And in the same paragraph, as it deals with two-thirds votes, specifically the founding fathers did not mention, at all, other things other than those two things that required a super majority.”

It would seem, from these comments, that Reid would not be in favor of filibustering a Supreme Court nominee, based on his interpretation of the Constitution.