What changed, exactly, now that the U.S. Senate has “gone nuclear”? Is this really a big deal? And is this unconstitutional?
As a technical matter, last month’s reform wasn’t a change in the Senate’s rules. In “going nuclear,” Harry Reid and Senate Democrats merely “reinterpreted” the rule requiring a three-fifths vote to end debate on presidential nominees. That’s the odd thing about the filibuster: It’s only powerful because senators willingly accept it.