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Hume: Use Of Nuclear Option Shows Dems Are Not Confident About 2014

BRIT HUME: In invoking the so-called nuclear option to do away with filibusters on judicial and certain other presidential nominations, Senate Democrats did something both parties had previously threatened, but never done. The reason they did it is simple, it was all about the judges, and specifically, as you've heard, those who sit on the federal appeals court here in Washington. It is the most important appeals court in the land. It has jurisdiction over many of the regulatory agencies based here. And it's members are often leading candidates to ascend to the Supreme Court itself. Democrats count on liberal judges on that appeals court for two purposes: one is to back the regulations on the private sector, which they are so fond of imposing. The other is to protect the legal rights of abortion, that the Supreme Court discovered in the Constitution during the heyday of liberal jurisprudence that ended largely around 1980. 

These regulations and rights are perpetually vulnerable politically in a nation where only 20 percent of people describe themselves as liberals. Thus these judges with lifetime appoints are crucial to the Democrats' cause, which is why despite the current light workload of that appeals court here in Washington, they are so determined to fill vacancies while they still control the Senate. Until last week they lacked a veto-proof majority to confirm Obama nominees. Blowing up the filibuster rule that had stood for 225 years took care of that.

BRET BAIER: How do you think this all translates to 2014, the election?

HUME: I doubt that people will be voting on this issue, but it does tell you something about it, Bret. If the Democrats were confident, that they would still hold the Senate, in 2014, there wouldn't have been so much urgency to do this and do it now. They need to get it done before they either lose their majority or became even more vulnerable to a filibuster.

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