Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s (R.-Tenn.) three-month delay in triggering the “nuclear option,” a Senate rule change that would forbid filibustering judicial nominees, is beginning to test the patience of conservative activists.
In January, Frist vowed action in February. The Senate returns from a week-long recess May 9. But top Frist aides told other Capitol Hill staffers this week that their boss is still not ready to pull the trigger, further frustrating many conservatives. “We’ve made it clear that patience is running out,” said Richard Lessner, executive director of the American Conservative Union. Added Manuel Miranda, chairman of the National Coalition to End the Judicial Filibuster: “Were it to be delayed beyond the next week, the Senate GOP should expect tens of thousands of angry phone calls and faxes to tie up their lines.”