If Jon Kyl carries out his threat to filibuster Obama’s judicial nominees he’ll put some of his colleagues in a tricky position. Graham, Snowe, Collins, and McCain were all members of the Gang of Fourteen, whose statement said “Nominees should be filibustered only under extraordinary circumstances.”
Yes, as a deal the Gang of Fourteen agreement applied only to the 109th Congress. But the whole premise of the exercise was that there was something nefarious about filibustering judicial nominations, justifying the Republican threat to invoke the (un)”Constitutional option” (i.e., cheat by having the Vice President make a false ruling and then voting to sustain that ruling).
Assuming that Franken loses but that Lieberman votes as a Democrat on judicial filibusters, Obama would need only two of the four to do the right thing, even if Lugar and Specter voted the party line. And it seems unlikely that Obama will present them with very attractive filibuster targets. So I think there’s reason for optimism that Obama will get his way.