Bob Novak reports that the Republicans have enough votes in the senate to shut down the Democrats' practice of filibustering conservative judicial nominees:
The GOP plans to change the rule in the senate that the Democrats had exploited since 2000 to launch "virtual" filibusters of the president's judicial appointments. The rule actually only applies to legislative bills, but the Democrats extended it to include judicial nominations, which meant that, once a filibuster was declared, sixty senators had to vote for cloture in order to get a floor vote on the nominee. Since the Democrats hold 45 seats it was almost impossible to get the sixty votes necessary to end the filibuster. Thus, by employing this tactic on Bush's judicial nominees the Democrats essentially arrogated to themselves the ability to decide the ideological complexion of all future judges.
McCain's reason for not supporting the rule change, which the Republicans have every right to enact, is that he fears that someday the Republicans will be in the minority and need the filibuster to block excessively liberal Democratic nominees.
The surest way to realize the senator's fear of impending minoritydom, however, is to fail to act like a majority party. If the GOP isn't going to act like they belong in the senate they can't expect the voters to be enthusiastic about keeping them there. The purpose of being in the majority is to use the power it grants to make our nation stronger and more just. Yielding to the will of senate lefties on a matter as important as who sits on the Supreme Court and the federal bench is precisely the wrong way to accomplish those goals.
We urge the Republicans to act like the majority party and to do what it takes to get the president's nominees approved. If the roles were reversed there can be no doubt that the Democrats would use every watt of their political power to appoint judges who possess the proper ideological predilections. The Republicans have the constitutional authority to change the rule and they have a duty to future generations to do so. Just do it.