Gorsuch Vote Goes Nuclear

The GOP pushed the button on the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, clearing the way for Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed. Personally, I think they ought to nuke the filibuster for everything. Well, not completely nuke, just go back to the old rule that a Senator has to hold the floor to filibuster. The way some people have been talking you’d think the filibuster rule was carried down from Mount Horeb on stone tablets. In reality the filibuster rule that does not require the Senator to hold the floor only dates to 1975. Before that, it’s use prior to the 20th century was almost unheard of. In the 20th century, before the 1975 rule, it was mostly used to hold up civil rights legislation. So this idea that it’s a longstanding, revered institution is mostly nonsense.

16 thoughts on “Gorsuch Vote Goes Nuclear”

  1. The thing to remember about tactical political maneuvers is, the last time someone declared The End of History, they were wrong.

    What serves your advantage, when you have the advantage, can/will serve your opponents’ advantage when inevitably they regain advantage.

    I have reflected we might be better off if all actions by legislatures required a super-majority to be enacted.

    1. That’s why this time you convince Thomas and Kennedy to retire and hope Ginsburg croaks so you can replace all 3 with people in their 40s. Hold the court for 25-30 years and get some things institutionalized…

      1. Sounds good, but you are assuming SCOTUS Justices come with guarantees. Your guys/gals in their 40s could turn out to be real disappointments — it has happened — and you’d still be stuck with them for decades. And even within the bounds of “conservatism” there are likely to be factions who will be very unhappy with some Justices nominated for their conservatism.

        I’ll also repeat my more general comment, that everyone seems to assume they can compartmentalize some aspect of “the system” and assume it will be working the same way next year as it was working last year; when everything (including implementation of the “nuclear option”) is showing us that yesterday’s gone. The voters voted for everything to be “different” and they got it.

      2. I think Thomas is so good that it’s worth keeping him as long as possible regardless of the benefits of his retiring.

      3. There it is again – people wanting Thomas to retire. WHY? He’s only 1 1/2 years older than Alito! Unless you want both of them to retire…

    1. Remember the fable of B’rer Rabbit?

      “Oh lawd, j’es’ don’ t’ro me in dat br’ar patch.”

      Maybe God granted that the flies should conquer the flypaper. ;-)

        1. “B’rer Rabbit did come to mind…”

          Not to over-define the obvious, but when “A” does something that guarantees “B” will do “C”, you have to suspect “A” was always hoping for “C”, even if they protested loudly while it was happening.

  2. In other news S Carolina lower house went for constitutional carry. Not expected to pass the Senate.

  3. I still am in disbelief that the Dems took it this far. Part of me wonders if they see some advantage to this that I am missing…. but Trump and the GOP Senate is going to be around for a lot longer than Ginsburg and Kennedy.

    1. They are running scared of the left-wing base that has been fired up since Trump was elected. They remember how many GOP politicians went down in primaries after the rise of the Tea Party, and don’t want the same thing to happen to them. They knew Gorsuch was getting on the court either way, and so they decided to act in a way that doesn’t harm their own re-election chances.

      As McConnell has repeatedly said, no Supreme Court nominee has been successfully filibustered in 50 years, so they weren’t actually giving anything up by allowing the filibuster to be nuked.

  4. I’m thinking that old Chucky thinks if he can screw things up in the senate. they can take it back in the next election. If the GOP plays their cards right it can backfire. Fer instance, every time they throw a wrench in the works. Point out they are just being obstructionist and not doing the peoples work. They are deliberately not letting the congress do its job.

    1. Schumer’s smart and I wouldn’t underestimate him … but I think it’s more likely that both sides were in a corner. There’s always a balance between strategic (they’ll use this against us) vs. tactical (we need a victory in the court now) but in this case I think the Republicans won. Allowing anyone but a true conservative on the court and there’s no point in thinking long term because we’ve already lost the war.

      We’ll see what the future brings. But it’s really hard to imagine the Dems taking back the senate in ’18. The repubs are good at screwing stuff up, but I expect to see Repub gains. And getting 60 votes ain’t totally impossible …

  5. This clears the path to do the same for Kennedy and Ginsburg. The Dems really only have themselves to blame for doing this on someone who, on balance, is a pretty decent candidate.

    Like someone said, however, they’re being pushed to this by their more extreme wing (at least what’s labelled “extreme” today; will likely be the mainstream of the party tomorrow).

    There’s simply no reason for the GOP to hold back on the next two vacancies, nor should they.

  6. And now that the Dems have shown they’ll do it to a decent candidate like Gorsech, why not go all out and appoint someone hard right?

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