Not So Fast My Friends
I hate to quibble with Tristero, but there will be a major obstacle to getting a nominee through Congress. Despite the potential for 60 votes, despite the party switch of Arlen Specter - in fact, BECAUSE of the switch of Arlen Specter - getting nominees out of the Senate Judiciary Committee under current rules will be a practical impossibility, it appears.
Check out the Senate Judiciary Committee Rules:
IV. BRINGING A MATTER TO A VOTE
The Chairman shall entertain a non-debatable motion to bring a matter before the Committee to a vote. If there is objection to bring the matter to a vote without further debate, a roll call vote of the Committee shall be taken, and debate shall be terminated if the motion to bring the matter to a vote without further debate passes with ten votes in the affirmative, one of which must be cast by the minority.
Your current lineup of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Which of these fellas do you think will be ready to provide the necessary one vote from the minority to bring things to a vote in the committee on tough questions now?
Don't think they wouldn't relish bottling up an Obama nominee in committee, and using all the lies sure to be served up by the Mighty Wurlitzer and the conservative noise machine to justify it. Surely the 50 conservative organizations already planning on conference calls will push for that decision to be made. This rule can change if there's a new organizing resolution, but in order to make that bullet-proof, all 60 Democrats would need to be seated, and willing to vote in favor. Giving even more reason for the minority to block Al Franken. Giving Specter even more power should he decide to wank and vote against a new resolution.
In the Senate, there's ALWAYS a way to obstruct.
...Oh, almost forgot, I agree with Mark Halerpin, how dare there be so few white men on that list of possible SCOTUS nominees. The MAN's been keeping us Caucasian males down for too long. A world with a 7-2 male/female split on the Supreme Court ain't a world I want to live in.
Update: by digby --- Joe Klein says Obama needs to suck up to Huckleberry, hard.