Senate Deploys 'Nuclear Option,' Weakens Filibuster

at 9:00 AM
 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In an historic shift on Thursday, the Senate voted 52-48 to eliminate the filibuster for most presidential nominations. Prompted by Senate Republicans' decision to stall three nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the new rules will allow a filibuster to be broken by simple majority. Supporters say the change will eliminate obstructionism. Opponents call it a power grab. We explore the history of the filibuster and the implications of the rule change.

Guests:

Ron Elving, senior Washington editor for NPR News

Gregory Koger, associate professor of political science at the University of Miami and author of "Filibustering: A Political History of Obstruction in the House and Senate"

Thomas Mann, senior fellow, governance studies at the Brookings Institution and co-author of "It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the Politics of Extremism"

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