Majority Leader Frist lays it out in a ChiTrib op/ed
today: Dems, filibuster Alito at your own "nuclear" risk. Excerpt:
When considering legislation, it's true that the filibuster has great value in protecting the minority party's rights. Starting during the last Congress, however, Democrats threw 214 years of Senate tradition out the window and used filibusters to stop the Senate from voting on 10 judicial nominees. The minority party subjected five others to filibuster threats and four nominees ultimately withdrew their names from consideration.h/t Real Clear Politics
Because of the Democrats' interference, the Senate could not do its duty. I'm willing to consider any reasonable proposal on debate: If the Democrats believe that each senator should have a full hour to speak uninterrupted about Alito's nomination, I am open to the idea. But I will not negotiate about the Senate's constitutional duty to vote on the president's judicial nominees.