Yes Virginia, the Republicans will most likely be using the “nuclear option” to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court. But before we rush to hang the GOP in effigy, you have to look at the history that has evolved over the last almost 40 years. It’s a lot of back and forth that caused where we are today.
It really started with Robert Bork. Bork was Ronald Reagan’s appointment to the Supreme Court back in 1987 to replace Lewis Powell. The Senate, which was controlled by the Dems at the time did not confirm him. It wasn’t because he wasn’t qualified to serve…he had more than enough qualifications. Democrats didn’t like his political views and “Borked” him because of that.
From there, you can move forward to Harry Reid’s own “nuclear option” that was imposed back in 2013. That allowed only 51 votes to approve cabinet appointees, and lower court judges, but not the Supreme Court justices. At the time, Reid was told that it would come back to bite him in the ass, and it did. Donald Trump got most of his cabinet through because of Reid’s nuclear option. The pendulum does swing both ways.
And of course, in 2016, the Republicans failed to give a hearing to Barack Obama’s Supreme Court appointee, Merritt Garland, citing several instances throughout history where the last year of a presidency, the president usually concedes that appointment to the next president. Bobo was hoping that would be Hillary, so they could pull Garland from the nomination and put someone more liberal in there. But when Clinton lost the election, it was evident Garland’s chances had evaporated altogether.
That brings us to today. Democrats are the first party ever to filibuster (or at least threaten to) a Supreme Court nominee…not on the grounds of qualifications, but that they don’t want to proceed with a vote. That will cause the GOP to invoke their own “nuclear option”, allowing Gorsuch to be confirmed with 51 votes, which the GOP have. And the dance continues.
What I can’t for the life of me figure out is why the Democrats want to be so blatant this time around. Antonin Scalia was a rock-ribbed conservative, as is Neil Gorsuch. It would make much more sense to plant the flag when Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Anthony Kennedy step down (or die), as is rumored to be happening to both relatively soon. Ginsburg is as left wing as Gorsuch is right wing, and Kennedy has been a swing vote, usually to the left. THAT would appear to be the fight you would want to make. But Chuck Schumer, who isn’t really stupid, knows that to plant the flag here may invigorate the Democrat base, even though he knows it’s a losing effort, and in the end not only will lose this battle, but will also lose the next two.
Of course, the right will lose in the end as well, because there will come a time when Democrats hold the White House and the Senate, and they can nominate the most liberal justice they can find. So, in the end, nobody actually wins. Not really.
What you are watching in the congress these days is the systematic dismantling of the government, brick by brick. Take note because it’s historical! And soon, we won’t have a congress that does anything but argue anymore!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!