The Last Time Filibusters Threatened A Constitutional Meltdown

By Lyle Denniston

The Republicans’ frustration with Democratic filibusters of Bush nominees to appeals courts reached a new level in May 2005. The Republican Senate leaders announced that, if the filibusters continued, they would attempt a drastic procedure – one that soon would be called the “nuclear option” for its capacity to destroy the capacity of the Senate to work together at all.