Hatch: Keep the Nuclear Option

To stop Pres. Obama from stacking the federal courts, Sen. Orrin Hatch says the new GOP Senate majority should preserve the changes Harry Reid made last year to the filibuster rule.

Reports the Washington Examiner:

Sen. Orrin Hatch says the Republicans should keep the nuclear option, which places him in agreement with prominent grassroots conservatives.

In an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, the Utah Senator said that the year-old filibuster rules changes are crucial for Republicans in the coming years. The op-ed was cowritten with former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray.

Hatch wrote that with a new Senate majority, it now is the job of the GOP “to counteract President Obama’s aggressive efforts to stack the federal courts in favor of his party’s ideological agenda.”

To accomplish this would be impossible should “Republicans choose to reinstate the previous filibuster rule now that the damage to the nation’s judiciary has already been done,” he wrote.

The so-called nuclear option allows the Senate to confirm nominations, such as judicial appointees and cabinet members, with a simple majority vote. Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Senate Democrat leadership changed the rules in 2013 to considerable Republican dismay.