As Senate Democrats pull the pin on their anti-Gorsuch grenade to filibuster President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, they would do better to step back and see the big picture beyond their scorched-earth crusade.
Should Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoke the so-called “nuclear option” — changing Senate rules to enable confirmation by a simple majority vote instead of a 60-vote super majority — the modification would apply to future Supreme Court nominees, observers say. “God forbid (Justices) Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies or Anthony Kennedy retires, or Stephen Breyer has a stroke and is no longer able to serve,” says Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Justice Breyer turns 79 this year; both Justices Ginsburg and Kennedy are in their 80s.
Keep in mind that this time around, the Senate is filling a high court vacancy created by the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative. The three aforementioned justices are all reliably liberal.
Since President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, Sen. Chuck Schumer’s unrelenting opposition has failed to deliver a knockout punch or expose any fatal flaws — that is, beyond Mr. Gorsuch’s impressive constitutional devotion, which is anathema to liberals. And how curious that Senate opponents to Gorsuch’s nomination — Mr. Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin, et al. — didn’t object during a 2006 voice vote supporting the judge’s nomination to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley, D-Iowa.
Senate Democrats have had their opportunity to derail Gorsuch; they failed. At stake this week is the extent to which they’ll intensify their failure.
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