05/29/2013 10:42 pm ET

Why Is The GOP So Obsessed With Three Little Judges?

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It’s beginning to feel a bit like 1937 in Washington this week as the White House and Senate Republicans hurl allegations of “court-packing” up and down Pennsylvania Avenue at one another. The what — Republican obstruction of Obama’s nominees to fill three vacant seats on the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — has been widely and well covered elsewhere. What bears further explanation is the why. It goes without saying that the GOP has an interest in blocking Obama’s nominees in general; the fewer judges the president appoints, the less liberal the courts overall. But why do they care so much about these three particular nominees — who haven’t even been named yet — that they’re willing to risk triggering a “nuclear war” on filibuster reform while also trying to change the basic makeup of the court.

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