[JURIST] Vice President Dick Cheney [official website] said Friday that, if necessary, he would cast the tie-breaking vote to ban Senate filibusters of judicial nominees. Speaking to the Republican National Lawyers Association [official website], Cheney declared that "the decision about how to proceed will be made by the Republican leadership in the Senate. But if the Senate majority decides to move forward and if the issue is presented to me in my elected office as president of the Senate and presiding officer, I will support bringing those nominations to the floor for an up or down vote." Senate Republicans have proposed removing the filibuster for judicial nominations [JURIST report], allowing nominees to be approved by a simple majority rather than the 60-vote support currently needed. A simple majority is needed to change the filibuster rules. With only 55 Republican seats in the Senate, the vote is predicted to be close, with Vice President Cheney stepping in to break a tie, if necessary. A confrontation in the Senate on filibuster rules and judicial nominations is looming after the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Thursday approved two judicial nominees [JURIST report] whose previous nominations were blocked by a Democratic filibuster. AP has more.
6:15 PM ET - The text of the Vice-President's address is now online from the White House.