Perhaps the strangest thing about today was that the Democrats decided to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee they approved by a unanimous vote to the circuit court 11 years ago.
The next-strangest thing about today was that the Republicans actually showed they have a spine.
If you haven’t heard, Senate Republicans, acting on a precedent established 4 years ago by Dingy Harry Reid and the Democrats when they eliminated the filibuster rule for lower-level presidential appointees, today exercised the “nuclear option” by eliminating the filibuster rule for SCOTUS nominees. Little did Harry know he was setting the table for President Trump and the Republicans down the road. He thought he was setting the table for his own party. (Thank you, Dingy Harry!)
Democrats decided to go to the mat over Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s exemplary choice to replace the esteemed and erudite Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. They mustered 45 “no” votes, enough to filibuster, but not enough to stop the Republicans from exercising the nuclear option.
I have to say, the Democrats achieved an elite level of stupidity on this one. First of all, they attempted to filibuster a perfectly good and decent appointee, whom they attempted to frame as an extremist. (Whenever Democrats refer to a judge as an “extremist,” what they really mean is “adheres to the letter of the Constitution.”)
Second, they forced the GOP to go nuclear on a nominee that does not affect the balance of the court. By that, I mean SCOTUS was most likely 5-4 in favor of Roe v. Wade before Scalia’s death, and it’s most likely still 5-4 now. Replacing Scalia with Gorsuch changes nothing. If you really want to see the Democrats go haywire, wait until President Trump has the opportunity to replace a liberal justice with a conservative. If Democrats were smart, they would have waited until the balance of power was at stake. But they’re not smart and so they’ve blown their wad now.
I know what you’re saying to yourself. At some point, given the ebb and flow of American politics, Democrats, sooner or later, will be the majority party in the Senate again (hopefully later) and will also have the White House (but not until 2025 at least). So they will at some point, years down the road, be able to confirm a Democrat nominee with a simple majority. And so I ask you, when was the last time Republicans were able to successfully filibuster a Democrat nominee for SCOTUS?