It is not a controversial or partisan position to state that our courts should be staffed. And it should not be a controversial or partisan position to say that the Senate should be allowed to vote by year's end on whether to confirm the two dozen judicial nominees whose time would be better spent hearing cases rather than waiting out partisan senators.
The invocation of the nuclear option last November addressed a real problem with the functioning of the Senate, paved the way for a new generation of insightful legal minds to join the ranks of the federal judiciary, and has allowed the president to address the nation's judicial vacancy crisis by accelerating the pace of confirmations. We are all better off for it.
In the film 12 Angry Men, a lone man is able to convince his fellow jurors to switch their votes from guilty to not guilty. But in some places, the movie would have been much shorter and the result different -- because in those states, 10 out of 12 jurors voting guilty is enough to send a person away to prison for the rest of his life.
Our federal government was designed as a republic. Within this system, and over time, elections were to have consequences and enlightened public opinion was to govern. Extra-constitutional appendages like the filibuster, abused by minority parties, have moved us away from that vision. Instead, our government is in perpetual gridlock, and the American people have lost faith in their government to even function properly. Even after this rules change, one of our parties must still win the House, the Senate, and the presidency before radically changing our country. That's no small feat. It will often require victories over the course of several elections. That's probably as it should be. Change ought to be possible, but only when one of our parties really earns it. The filibuster gave a small minority in the Senate outsized power to stifle the will of the people.