Graham: Rule changes judiciary ‘forever’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Wednesday the Senate rule change to filibuster rules will result is “fire breathing liberals” confirmed to serve as judges across the country.

“The pressure from the [Democratic] conference to pick the most hard noise, fire breathing liberal is going to be intense and it will change the judiciary forever,” Graham said on the Senate floor. “Shame on you.”

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The Senate is spending 30 hours debating the nomination of Nina Pillard to the D.C. Circuit Court. A vote on her confirmation is scheduled for 1 a.m. Thursday unless Republicans agree to yield back time.

Pillard is a law professor at Georgetown University and has served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and as an Assistant Solicitor General.

"It’s going to have an impact on the country having these activist judges such as this one tonight on the bench," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Wednesday evening.

Republicans are expected to force the full use of debate time because they are frustrated that Democrats unilaterally changed the Senate filibuster rules last month, allowing several of Obama’s nominees that were previously blocked to get up-or-down votes this week.

The rule change means only 51 votes are needed to end a filibuster on nominations below the level of the Supreme Court — before 60 votes were needed. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) triggered the “nuclear option” to make the change. It allows the Senate’s rules to be changed by a majority vote.

“The rules of the Senate have been changed in really a dramatic way,” Graham said. “If advise and consent means anything, it means on occasion you can say no.”

Several Republicans have spoken out against the nomination of Pillars, a law professor at Georgetown University. Some have said she has an “extremely liberal” or “radical” record.