Letter: There Is No Supermajority Requirement

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Dear Editor,

I've seen letters recently, such as in your paper this week ("Fallout will be extensive"), that claim there is a "requirement for a supermajority to approve federal judges." But no such requirement has ever existed.

Clarence Thomas, for example, was approved by a mere majority, 52-48. Various Clinton nominees -- including Richard Paez, who was unsuccessfully filibustered by the Republicans -- were also passed by a regular majority, not a supermajority (which also means that some people who voted to end the filibuster also voted against the nominee).

Highlighting this mythical "200-year-old requirement" in fact argues against tradition, because not until recently, under Bush, has a judicial nominee who had the votes to be confirmed ever been rejected because of a filibuster. Not until now has reaching a supermajority actually been required. slashdot.org

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