The Conservative Case for the Filibuster Deal
The filibuster is a profoundly conservative tool, which advances each of [Russell] Kirk’s goals. It slows change by allowing a resolute minority to delay — to stand athwart history shouting stop. It ensures that change is driven not “merely by temporary advantage or popularity” but by a substantial majority.
Of course, that applies to the filibuster as applied to legislation more so than to stopping presidential nominees from getting through. If the deal were truly in good faith, with the minority using the extraordinary measure of the filibuster only in “extraordinary circumstances,” then a strong argument could be made that keeping nominees that can not garner the support of a few moderates of the opposition party off the bench would be a good thing. As he points out,
[W]hat happens if President Hillary (with a 50-50 Senate split) nominates somebody like Larry Tribe or, worse yet, Margaret Marshall to the Supreme Court?
I would note, though, that it was not that long ago that Antonin Scalia, with a long paper trail, was confirmed 98-0. And, aside from some recent issues involving his academic integrity (see here and here), I always thought of Tribe as “the liberal Robert Bork” — annoying to the other side but inarguably superbly qualified for the Supreme Court. It seems to me that the proper means of keeping the likes of Margaret Marshall off the bench is to avoid electing the likes of Hillary Clinton president or, failing that, not doing it simultaneous with a Democratic majority in the Senate. If the American people make those decisions in tandem, then having a qualified leftist or two appointed to the Supreme Court is proper punishment, indeed.