An op-ed piece by Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post in April 2010 argues that the Senate filibuster should be eliminated for executive branch appointments. Marcus’ article raises questions about the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches in making political appointments.
“The president is due enormous deference in staffing his own administration. That's been sorely lacking in recent years. The latest victim is Dawn Johnsen, the president's choice to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, whose nomination was withdrawn after languishing for 14 months. Once, filibustering a nomination -- executive or judicial -- was a rarity. Defeating a nomination by filibuster was rarer still. In the 60 years before Barack Obama took office, cloture petitions, the procedure for ending a filibuster, were filed for 32 executive-branch nominations. During Obama's presidency, cloture petitions have been filed in the case of 14 executive-branch nominees. This understates the problem because it does not include nominees such as Johnsen who never got that far.”