Going Nuclear in the Senate

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It is being called the “nuclear option;” dramatic language for the Washington fight over judicial nominees. It comes from the Democratic threat to filibuster President Bush’s picks for the bench.

Republicans accuse the Democrats of obstructing their nominees simply because they don’t agree with their religious views. So those on the right say they will change the rules of Senate to prevent the filibuster. Democrats say they will shut down Congress and bring business in the nation’s capitol to a standstill.

Call it a battle of fundamentals — the Democrats belief in their fundamental right to oppose, and the Republicans belief in some fundamental changes on the bench.

We look at the politics and the judicial nominees whose reputations are the basis for this fight. Is confrontation inevitable or is there room for detente?


Gail Chaddock, Congressional reporter for The Christian Science Monitor.

Jonathan Turley, Law Professor, George Washington University. ;

John Breaux, Forrmer Democratic Senator from Louisiana.;

Alan Simpson, former Republican Senator from Wyoming.