Resistance to the Nuclear Option, to the placing of Bush's judges on the bench, has nothing to do with preserving the "time honored rules of the Senate". It's about preventing a rollback of "laws from the bench" that socialist judges have foisted on the United States for the past 70 years.
MoveOn.org shows this in their latest missive. According to MoveOn.org:
If you care about the minimum wage — and you don't want judges ruling it unconstitutional — now's the time to act.
If you care about environmental laws — and you don't want judges striking them down — now's the time to act.
If you care about your right to privacy — and you don't want the government telling your family how to live, worship, or even how to die — now's the time to act.
In fact, I do want judges striking them down - because they are patently unconsitutional.
So-called "Progressives" (aka Socialists) have abused the power of the Federal judiciary for over 70 years. Starting with FDR's stacking of the Supreme Court, "progressive" federal judges have ignored the plain text and plain meaning of numerous parts of the US Constitution, and have read into other clauses ridiculous interpretations.
The relevant constitutional clause for the things MoveOn is concerned about here is:
Article I, Section 8:
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
The FDR court re-interpreted Article I, Section 8 (the "Commerce Clause") to mean the Federal government had the authority to regulate any action that might however distantly be related to Interstate commerce.
However, that is a nonsensical interpretation because pretty much any action taken in business in some way eventually interacts with or influences interstate commerce. The Commerce Clause was intended to prevent the several States from engaging in trade wars with each other, making laws that gave advantage to their own citizens over the citizens of other states. The Founders would surely be horrified that it is being used to give carte blanche to any intrusive law Congress might devise.
The minimum wage affects a contract between an employer and employee that does not cross state lines. Environmental laws generally affect actions that do not cross state lines. By my plain reading of the Constitution, these laws at the Federal level are unconstitutional. The Founder's intent was for the States to have most of the power, but for the Federal government to set some ground rules.
But that didn't stop the progressives. They wanted their social agenda implemented, and damn the Constitution. So they took a short-cut. They put judges on the bench who invented ridiculous interpretations of the Constitution, and "legislated from the bench". Instead of doing it the right way - petitioning the people, changing minds and ideas at the grass-roots level - they simply implemented their social programs by government fiat. No wonder so many people to this day resent this - that is not democracy, it's dictatorship of the judiciary.
So, finally, jurisprudence is coming around to the fact that it's time to repair the damage done by the FDR court, and MoveOn is worried that 70 years of plainly unconstitutional law is going to be declared unconstitutional.
If MoveOn is so concerned about Federal minimum wage and all the other bunk the socialists have foisted on us through a stacked bench, then it's time to show us what "grass roots" really is. MoveOn, I challenge you to take your case straight to the people: explain why you think the minimum wage is important, and begin the process for a Constitutional amendment. If your idea is truly good, you will win the war of ideas and you will get your Amendment - and that is the correct way to change the Constitution and the power of the Federal government.