The filibuster rule passed on a 52-48 vote in the U.S. Senate marks the most blatant and obvious attempt at degrading the constitutional system of checks and balances in modern political history ("Democrats vote to curb filibusters on appointees," Tribune, Nov. 21).
The new rule, which allows for a simple majority vote in confirming most presidential appointees, essentially gives the president a blank check on appointments if the president's own party holds the Senate majority.
Debate and bipartisan support in confirming presidential appointments has now been rendered obsolete.
This new system allows for President Obama (and any future president) to make political appointments unchecked by anything more substantial that the approval of the majority party. This new policy in the Senate marks a sad day for those who believe in upholding the Constitution and the system of checks and balances espoused in this document.
The proponents of the rule who argue that this will end deadlock, are willing to sacrifice constitutional norms in favor of the appearance of efficiency.