Senate Republican leader starts clock ticking to showdown on Gorsuch

"That obviously is not a tenable standard for advice and consent, and that is the reason why if the Democrats persist in this foolish filibuster, the Senate majority will have no choice, but return to the standard that has prevailed for over two centuries in the Senate, which is confirming Supreme Court justices by a majority vote".

Scalia's seat has remained open for 14 months, allowing Trump to nominate Gorsuch, a conservative in the mold of Scalia who has served for more than a decade on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. During Barack Obama's presidency, Democrats on Capitol Hill frequently bemoaned the obstructionism of the right.

Merkley stood in front of a blow-up of the preamble to the Constitution, still talking Wednesday morning. So it is apt to use that term for the weapon that Republican senators are threatening to use to transform the Supreme Court confirmation process-and, by extension, the Court itself.

Merkley's lengthy speech made for drama but had no chance to change the outcome. "And it's interesting that Republicans were dead-set against it when my former colleague Harry Reid invoked it with the judges, but now it seems to be okay". As long as Republicans have the majority, they should consider using their power. Republicans pointed out that filibusters of Supreme Court nominees have been nearly unheard of, while Democrats complained that Republicans will have only themselves to blame if they go forward with the rules change.

Schumer, never one to fight an unwinnable fight, has spent the last few weeks rallying support for the filibuster among his caucus - an effort that formally succeeded Monday when the 41st Democratic senator came out against ending debate on the Gorsuch nomination.

"If the Senate had held a vote on Judge Garland's nomination and Republicans had voted Garland down, Senator Kaine would have encouraged the President to put forward a new nominee without changing the rules". The Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., however, liked Biden's theory, and would not schedule hearings for Garland. "That could not be further from the truth".

"We're not going to have a rule, a tradition in the Senate where they get their judges and President Trump can't get his", he said.

Republicans would also need some motivation to go along with such a censure.

If McConnell were to do so, a second cloture vote would then happen, but at this point, only 51 votes would be needed to end debate and move to a final vote. Montana Democrat Jon Tester, who likes to portray himself as a centrist, announced that he'll oppose the judge for what he didn't say.

To confirm Gorsuch through the nuclear option would be an abuse on top of an abuse. And though predicting a justice's votes can be hard, confirmation of the 49-year-old Gorsuch is expected to restore the conservative majority that existed while Scalia was alive and that majority could be expanded in coming decades if Republicans remain in control of the process. His nomination is not expected to clear the 60-vote hurdle, thanks to almost all Senate Democrats expected to vote against advancing his nomination.

But McConnell said there is no appetite for that and that it will not happen under his leadership. "For him to accuse Democrats of the first partisan filibuster on the Supreme Court belies the facts, belies the history, belies the basic truth". "It is vital to our judicial system", Sen.

Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, strongly defended Gorsuch as a fair and independent man. However, Judge Gorsuch did not receive a single vote from a Democrat on the committee. Chris Coons of DE also announced on Monday that they would oppose cutting off debate on the Gorsuch nomination.

Democrats have opposed President Donald Trump at every turn, and now they're urging Trump to "simply consult" with them in choosing a Supreme Court nominee who can pass Democrat muster.

  • Salvatore Jensen