Democratic hypocrisy on support for the filibuster

Almost 14 months since the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the Senate finally will take action Thursday to replace him with federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch, ending a divisive process that could forever change the way justices are confirmed and further weaken the Senate's bipartisan traditions. Democrats pushed through a rules change lowering the vote threshold on all nominees except for the Supreme Court from 60 to a simple majority.

"There's blame on both sides", said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, citing the Republican months-long blockade a year ago of Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's pick for the Supreme Court.

Over the past two months, judges, law professors, Supreme Court advocates, and law clerks with glittering resumes have all come forward to offer their thoughts on what kind of lawyer and judge Neil Gorsuch is.

The full Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court, a showdown that is expected to result in a Democratic filibuster that would provoke Republicans to use the so-called "nuclear option" in order to advance Gorsuch.

Schumer ridiculed McConnell's contention that the Democratic action was unprecedented, noting that the Republican-led Senate previous year refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nomination of appellate judge Merrick Garland for the same high court seat that Trump elected Gorsuch to fill.

"For the first time in history, we are considering a nominee for a stolen Supreme Court seat, and that alone should be reason for everyone who cares about this institution to turn down this nominee", said Sen. And I know that, should he be confirmed, Americans will gain a Supreme Court Justice who knows that his decisions have far-reaching consequences, and will quietly carry the responsibility.

Filibustering has been around for more than a century as a last-ditch obstruction tool for senators to stop or delay legislation.

I attended his Tenth Circuit Investiture in 2006, where I asked him if he would be willing to officiate my wedding someday.

Judge Gorsuch also proved to be an incredibly supportive mentor. Senate Democrats yet again moved to escalate the confirmation wars with their latest unprecedented provocation, mounting an unjustifiable filibuster to obstruct President Trump's widely-hailed selection for the United States Supreme Court.

Next - Once the nuclear option is completed, the Senate will cast a second vote to break the Gorsuch filibuster at the new, lower 51-vote threshold.

Senate confirmation of Gorsuch, 49, would reinstate the nine-member court's conservative majority, allowing Trump to leave an indelible mark on America's highest judicial body and fulfill a top campaign promise by the Republican president.

Josh Holmes fills in the history leading to the imminent confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court in the Politico Magazine column "McConnell is finishing what Schumer started". McConnell vowed that the rules change would block the Gorsuch filibuster, and all future ones, a change many lawmakers lamented could lead to an even more polarized Senate, court and country.

The change is dubbed "the nuclear option" because it will make it easier for the majority to confirm its Supreme Court nominees in the future.

"I like to look at what people have done in the past", Wetherill said of how she will evaluate Tester in the voting booth.

Republicans have portrayed Gorsuch as a more-than-qualified and mainstream judge with sterling career credentials.

It's always better when big pieces of legislation or Supreme Court justices get bipartisan support - the more, the better.

"The nuclear option was used by Senator McConnell when he stopped Merrick Garland".

"We're going down the wrong path here", Democratic Sen.

"The answer is not to change the rules, but to change the nominee", said Schumer, who argued that Gorsuch's record was too far to the right.

  • Larry Hoffman