Why Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court Tenure Will Be Tainted Off the Bat
His path to the Court is riddled with historically and constitutionally
By David S. Cohen
April 4, 2017
A shorter URL for the above link:
It now appears that in order for Gorsuch to be confirmed to the Court,
Senate Republicans are going to have to destroy Senate rules after having
already departed from time-honored constitutional practice to even get us
to the point of considering Gorsuch.
Here are the asterisks that could follow Gorsuch throughout his Supreme
* The first is for the Republicans' crime of grand theft judiciary last
year. When President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a respected moderate
judge, to the Supreme Court, the Republicans took the unprecedented path
of refusing to even have a hearing for him. They said it wouldn't be right
to consider a new justice during an election year a "rule" that had no
basis in either history or constitutional design, and one that Mitch
McConnell practically admitted last weekend was a smokescreen.
** The second is for the Republicans continuing with the Gorsuch
nomination despite the fact that the campaign of the president who
nominated him is under investigation for possibly the most harrowing
political crime in United States history: colluding with a foreign
government to steal the 2016 election. This investigation is ongoing and
seems to get more serious by the day, and yet the Republicans are moving
forward with Trump's lifetime appointment anyway.
*** Gorsuch would get a third asterisk for likely being the first Supreme
Court nominee to be filibustered by the minority party. As of now, there
appear to be at least 41 Democratic Senators who support a filibuster of
Gorsuch and will vote against cloture, the Senate procedure used to end a
filibuster. If that happens, under current rules, the Senate would not be
able to vote on Gorsuch and the president would be forced to choose
between waiting for the Democrats to give in or nominating someone else
for the position.
**** The fourth asterisk is for what might happen next. If the Democrats
successfully filibuster Gorsuch, McConnell and his party have one trick up
their sleeve: They can vote to change the Senate rules. Called the
"nuclear option," this maneuver would obliterate the Senate tradition of
respecting the minority party. Republicans can get rid of the filibuster
with a bare majority (50 votes plus a tiebreak from Vice President Pence).
There is very loud talk from Republican Senators that they will take this
path if the Democrats do indeed follow through with their filibuster. If
they go down this path, the Republicans would be changing the Senate
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