Warren: GOP wants DC Circuit to be ‘subsidiary of big business’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) warned Republicans Wednesday that if they continue to block President Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Democrats will try to change the Senate filibuster rules.

“If Republicans continue to block qualified nominees for no reason … senators have not only the right to change the filibuster rules, senators have the duty to change the filibuster rules,” Warren said on the Senate floor.

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Her comment came a day after Republicans blocked the nomination of Cornelia Pillard, a Georgetown law professor, on a 56-41 vote.

Earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to use the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules with a simple majority vote. In the end, lawmakers worked out a deal to avoid major rule changes, but Reid has said Republicans are not living up to their end of the deal.

Under the agreement, Republicans aren’t supposed to block Obama’s judicial nominees unless there are “extraordinary” circumstances. 

Warren said Republicans are preventing any new nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court because they don’t want a “balanced” court — instead the GOP wants a court that is a “subsidiary of big business.”

“Republicans may prefer a rigged court that helps their corporate friends … but that’s not the job of judges,” Warren said. “Republicans may not like Wall Street reform; they may not like ObamaCare, but Congress passed those laws and President Obama signed those laws.”

But as the election year nears, it seems Reid wouldn’t have the votes to “go nuclear.”