As expected, Mitch McConnell and the the GOP controlled senate have pulled the trigger and gone “nuclear” concerning the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court.
For days, Schumer and other Democrats, aided by their parrots in the MSM have been labeling Gorsuch as “extreme”, and with only four Dem exceptions would have filibustered the confirmation.
“Extreme”. “Out of the mainstream.” Those words were repeated by the Dems and their media cohorts ever since Gorsuch was revealed to be Trump’s choice to replace Antonin Scalia.
Gorsuch may be many things, but “extreme” appears to be far from accurate.
Many of the same Dems who are naysayers now, voted in favor of Gorsuch in 2006’s appointment to the 10th circuit court. That vote was a unanimous voice vote (including Chuck Schumer).
So why have the Dems been playing the obstructionist game now?
The main reason is because the GOP wouldn’t allow a vote on Merrick Garland who was nominated by Obama to replace Scalia after his untimely death during Obama’s last year in office.
The Dems have been screeching “unfair” ever since.
They even went so far as to claim that not allowing a vote on Garland was “unprecedented”. That too, is not accurate.
The same Chuck Schumer who is so self-righteously shaking his fist now because the GOP would not allow Obama to replace Scalia – a strict constitutional constructionist – with someone who wasn’t, seems to have forgotten his remarks regarding George W. Bush in 2007 and potential Supreme Court picks. Back then, Schumer said:
“We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances,” Schumer said in a speech to the liberal American Constitution Society. “They must prove by actions, not words, that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not.”
It is not the only time that Democrats went out of their way to say a Republican shouldn’t be able to pick a nominee in their final year (it happened with George H. W. Bush as well).
It seems to me that this selective amnesia by Schumer and other Dems is going to be their undoing.
Neil Gorsuch has all the necessary qualifications to be on the court. He even has a unanimous “well-qualified” rating from the American Bar Association – not exactly a bastion of conservatives or Republicans.
No, this was strictly all about political grandstanding, and to oppose Donald Trump at all costs.
The sad fact is, we’re not likely getting another Scalia with the appointment of Gorsuch. Columnist Kelleigh Nelson has written a couple of excellent pieces (here and here) that raise serious questions about how pro-life he is, or for that matter how committed he is to constitutional original intent. He seems to place a very high value on legal precedent, which could mean that he is very unlikely to overrule Roe V. Wade.
Gorsuch will probably at best, be another Justice Roberts – we can only pray he is not another David Souter.
The plain simple fact is that if Gorsuch was so unacceptable to Dems that they would go so far as to filibuster his confirmation, there is absolutely no potential Trump or Republican nominee out there that they would not attempt to block.
The GOP has done the only thing they can by changing the rules that allow a vote to be taken, and that is to change the rules back to what they were before 2003.
Yes, that’s right. Until 2003, it only took 51 votes to move a nominee’s confirmation to a final up or down simple majority vote.
You know who changed those rules? Yep, the Dems.
In addition to their caterwauling about how the GOP blocked Garland’s nomination “without cause” (even though, they started that), they have even resorted to calling the Senate rules change “unconstitutional”. First of all, most Dems wouldn’t know the constitution if it jumped up and bit them on their collective derriers; secondly, there is nothing in the constitution that pertains to Senate procedural votes. That is left up to the Senate which can change them as they see fit.
The upshot of all of this is that Schumer played a loser hand – one that is the equivalent of political hari kari.
Schumer and the Dems, for blocking an eminently qualified individual will from this day forward, be seen as true obstructionists.
Worse for the Dems, this was something of a tit for tat, as this was a Republican nominee replacing a previous Republican nominee. (Forget the fact that Gorsuch is no Scalia). For future vacancies, the rule change could well mean another two to three Trump nominees who will be replacing liberal, Democrat appointed justices.
The Dems filibuster was a classic case of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.
What were you thinking of Chuck?
© 2017 Chip McLean – All Rights Reserved