Ever since 2010, when Senate Dems lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, Senate Rethuglicans have done nothing but invoke the Senate rule requiring a supermajority of 60 votes for almost any vote, or be threatened with a filibuster. For the President's nominations to the Judiciary, it has been particularly damaging, as the Rethugs seek to maintain conservative majorities in as many of the Appellate Courts as they can, even though vacancies have remained unfilled for years.
Now Senate Majority Leader (and we hope he'll start living up to the title) Harry Reid is guiding a series of motions through the Senate to allow simple majority votes on nominations and other critical measures -- the so-called "nuclear option." This would depart from Senate procedures that have been in place for years, but consistently abused in the last few years by obstructionist Rethugs wanting to stall or kill any policy proposed by a twice-elected President. We say "it's about time" and hope that important nominations and other business will finally get done.
UPDATE: To put it in perspective (click to enlarge):