Are Republicans Abusing the Filibuster on Nominees? - Bloomberg
At various times in history, members of the U.S. Senate have adopted one of three positions with respect to presidential nominees for the federal judiciary:
1. The blank check: A senator should vote to confirm anyone the president chooses.
2. The competence and character test: A senator should vote to confirm anyone the president chooses, unless the nominee is incompetent or suffers from a fatal character flaw (as demonstrated, for example, by corruption).
3. The out-of-the-mainstream test: A senator should vote to confirm anyone the president chooses, unless the nominee’s views are unacceptably extreme.
Under Barack Obama’s administration, influential Senate Republicans seem to have adopted a fourth view:
4. The disagreement test: If a senator strongly disagrees with a view expressed by a nominee, at any point in that nominee’s career, he should support a filibuster against the president’s choice.
As it is currently being used, the disagreement test is unprecedented. True, the Senate has sometimes played an aggressive role in the confirmation process. And true, Senate Democrats ramped up their scrutiny under President George W. Bush. But the disagreement test is now going beyond anything we have seen before, and it is producing an increasingly unworkable situation.