Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is expected to introduce a new bill Tuesday that will scale back the NSA's ability to collect data in bulk, but there's a chance the highly praised draft may not get signed into law.
Even if someone masters the Senate's arcane rules, they will encounter roadblocks that are written nowhere in the Senate's standing rules and that have little grounding in its history. One of these is a practice that lets each senator veto anyone named to a federal judgeship in their state.
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"[I]t might surprise you that one senator, surprisingly a blue state Democrat with a 100 percent rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood, now stands in the way confirming pro-choice, pro-civil rights nominees from states like Georgia that have anti-choice Senator willing to abuse senate rules."
The bipartisan bill would go a long way towards fixing the damage caused by the Roberts Court last June, and its amendments to one part of the Voting Rights Act would actually make American voting rights law more robust in some ways than it was before Chief Justice Roberts got his hands on it.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the senior-most member of the Senate, has a warning for his Republican colleagues -- either they back off their efforts to maintain Republican control over a powerful federal court, or they could lose their ability to filibuster judicial nominees forever.