NAACP Responds to Change of Rules in the US Senate

US Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid

The NAACP responded to the United States Senate’s change of rules Thursday. The change guarantees that all judicial and executive branch nominees, except Supreme Court nominees, can be confirmed with a simple up-or-down vote by the majority.

The vote to change the rule passed 52-48 in the United States Senate.

NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller notes this victory in the Senate:

We have been frustrated and outraged by the obstructionist and counterproductive actions of Senate extremists in recent years. Doesn't the President of the United States have the right to his choice of nominees to fill positions within his Administration? This is an important step toward reform.

NAACP Sr. Vice President for Advocacy and Policy and Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau Hilary Shelton commented on the historic vote:

The NAACP appreciates and commends Majority Leader Reid for taking courageous steps to allow straight up-or-down votes on the nominations of highly qualified individuals.

Nominees for judicial and executive appointments, Melvin “Mel” Watt, Patricia Millett, Cornelia “Nina” Pillard and Robert Wilkins’ have not been confirmed, due to a filibuster in the US Senate. This new rule ensures that these nominees will be confirmed with a Senate majority.

The Senate voted 55-43 to move forward with the confirmation of U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia nominee Patricia Millet, which requires up to 30 hours of debate. She is now expected to be confirmed mid-December.