Democrats and liberals casting about for a justification to filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court have had a hard time of it. Lacking any basis to criticize Judge Gorsuch himself, they need some theory of why the Senate should not confirm a highly qualified nominee, made by a freshly elected president, and supported by a majority of the Senate. They are now on their third argument, and it’s no better than the first two.
First up was the argument that the seat was “stolen” from Merrick Garland. But as I detailed at length here, that ignores the relevant history: Supreme Court seats have been held open by the Senate for the new president to fill on seven prior occasions, and of the nine prior times that a president has sent a nominee to a Senate controlled by the opposite party in a presidential election year, five were left open for the next president, three were confirmed only after the election in favor of the party that won the election, and just one (Melville Fuller in 1888) was confirmed. (I dealt further with specific complaints about Garland not getting a hearing, and the effort to use Anthony Kennedy as a parallel, here).
Next up was Chuck Schumer’s claim that the Senate traditionally requires 60 votes for a nominee to get confirmed. As I detailed here, this is simply false, as six prior nominees have been confirmed with less than 60% support in the Senate, including two members of the current Court – and the only nomination stopped by a minority of the Senate was a bipartisan filibuster of an election-year nominee whose ethical problems resulted in his resignation from the bench a few months later.
Having failed laughably at both of these justifications, Democrats have chosen as their closing argument a frontal assault on the legitimacy of the 2016 election. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe gives a flavor of the mood of this stuff:
As more emerges re @realDonaldTrump’s theft of the presidency it gets clearer that we mustn’t keep calling him POTUS. He’s a usurper.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) March 31, 2017
The specific argument being made is that Trump should not have the power to fill a Supreme Court vacancy until the FBI concludes its investigation of Russian interference in the election:
If i were Dems in Senate I would make a deal with GOP and say when investigation of Trump and Russia is finished, they will not filibuster.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) April 1, 2017
This is nonsense, and dangerous nonsense at that.
First, as Andrew McCarthy detailed in a must-read piece over the weekend, the Democrats are now doing exactly the thing they accused Trump of doing back when they thought they would win the election: constructing a theory of a “rigged election” with most of the same elements that Trump was talking about. They have become exactly what they claimed was bad and dangerous – and, as McCarthy also notes, they are doing so almost entirely on the basis of information the voters already knew at the time of the election. The Democrats’ repeated use of the deliberately deceptive phrase “hacked the election” has already convinced a majority of their voter base, with no evidence at all, of the outlandish conspiracy theory that Russia tampered with the vote tabulations. I warned on Election Day that Democrats were not preparing their voters to accept the possibility that a Trump victory was a possible, democratically-legitimate outcome, and filibustering Gorsuch on this basis is surrendering to their angriest and most paranoid elements. Doing so on the theory that Trump is a usurper who has seized power illegitimately is a poisonous argument, but do they really believe it? If they did, they’d expel Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp from their own party, since both have said that they will vote to confirm Gorsuch.
Second, what exactly do Democrats say was done to render the election illegitimate. They offer no evidence, nor even a theory, of collusion by any particular person in the Trump campaign with any particular Russian activity. And what activities are they talking about? As David French has neatly summarized the Russians’ efforts:
Gorsuch opponents now have the 41 Senate votes necessary to block his nomination.
I agree with Senator Coons assessment of Gorsuch and his reasons for voting against him, which he expresses very clearly beginning at the 03:10:44 time mark of this C-Span-2 video of today’s hearing. (Monday, April 4, 2017.) As he explains, this is not just a matter of payback for republican mistreatment of the Garland nomination. There are very serious unanswered questions concerning Gorsuch’s interpretation of the law, which could radically impact the individual rights of American citizens—questions Gorsuch skillfully avoided answering directly.
@Greg: You are a real trip. Tell us about your current prediction next week!
Instead, why don’t you give us your assessment of what Senator Coons said about Gorsuch? Of course, you’d first have to listen to what he said and figure out what it means, which would require some degree of effort and thought.
@Greg: Well, since I know Gorsuch and we both live in Colorado, I believe I know more about him than Sen Coons. I would bet he can exceed the qualifications of all the current SCOUS members now serving even though he is not a “wise Latina” who feels about the law instead of determines the law IAW the Constitution. I know you do not have the capability to think for yourself since all of your thoughts are conveyed to you by your lefty idols. Maybe you should look at source documents instead of relying on biased Senators, but that “would require some degree of effort and thought“.
@Greg: Slippery-as-snot Coons.
As soon as he realized Judge Gorsuch had handed him his ass on Hobby Lobby he pivoted (remember who he learned to pivot from? where is Obama?) to something else.
Senator Coons is smart enough to understand the full implications of a bad court decision and articulate enough to communicate that understanding to others.
I lost confidence in Gorsuch’s impartiality when he evaded questions concerning the dangerous implications of the Citizens United decision and expressed support for discriminatory “religious freedoms” laws.
@Greg: So, you also say the Appellate Court and the Supreme Court are institutions you’ve lost confidence in, right?
Because they, too went for Gorsuch’s reasoning and against Coons reasoning.
Dose anyone remember Clarence Thomas? and the infamous Anita Hill? her lies to congress and the senate aginst Thomas all becuase thomas reject Afermative Action and racial prefrences? the Dirty Demacrats and Lousie Liberals are doing it again against a pro life anti abortion pro constitution judge unlike the infamous Eric the Dread(Holder)who favors race over justice
American Bar Association gave Gorsuch their highest possible rating. The ABA is hardly a bastion of right wing activism.
The extreme left that now controls the demofacist party is playing long term strategy, forcing the GOP to nuke the filibuster on SCOTUS so that the left can – if American voters are ever stupid enough to vote them back into control of the Senate and the White House – impose an extreme leftist anti-Constitutional activist onto SCOTUS without having to worry about a filibuster.
@Pete: Greg knows better than anyone. He is high on Kool Aid.
I just saw one about some liberal progresivists fruitcake that claimed Gorsuch will only allow the rich to vote Boy talk about STUPID this one has STUPID written on their face in capital letters
@Greg: So those two moronic females that the Zero put on the court are a testament to “some degree of effort and thought”?
Or are they the usual Leftist rubber-stamps for an “evolving constitution” who make their judicial rulings the way the Democrats instruct them to?
Gorsuch is a conservative who applies the law as it was written to be applied. Not the philosophy and ideology of the Left…ya’ll have demonized every conservative jurist and quite frankly if Gorsuch cannot be confirmed without the nuclear option, no judge that is a constitutionalist can be…..
@Greg: Have you ever considered the possibility that liberals are simply WRONG? Liberals are not the arbiter that decides who has rights and who don’t. Your liberals are simply proving how stupid and silly they are, which I know has a lot of appeal among die-hard liberals (the stupider they prove to be, the more credibility they have among liberal lemmings), but it will hurt them severely in upcoming elections. I hope the Republicans bludgeon all Democrat election opponents with how they baselessly opposed Gorsuch as well as Obama’s wretched abuse of government power in harassing Trump and his team with surveillance and unmasking.
@Esdraelon: Liberals believe they are the only people on the planet that should be authorized to select judges and ALL those judges should be idiots such as those on the 9th who happily invent justifications for voting down legal actions that benefit the nation. Schumer thinks he is justified to simply demand Trump change his selection, regardless that the selection is probably THE most qualified candidate in decades.
We knew they’d do it, and we also knew they would blame Democrats for “making them do it.” Because they’re a pack of dishonest, lying weasels, and they know much of their support base just isn’t all that smart. (Witness the fact that they elected a total amateur such as Donald Trump to be President.)
Senate goes ‘nuclear’ to advance Trump Supreme Court pick
Mitch McConnell, regarding opposition to Gorsuch’s appointment:
The hypocritical republican twit has apparently forgotten all about their own party-line refusal to give Merrick Garland even the courtesy of a vote for a period of nearly 10 months, because the republican Senate leadership was concerned that members of their own party might break ranks and vote in favor of Garland’s nomination.
Nor did democrats ever use the nuclear option rules change in the case of a Supreme Court nominee. They specifically drew a line there, out of concern that it would turn Supreme Court confirmations into a purely partisan function, damaging the integrity of our checks and balances process.
This one is on republicans. Nobody “made them” do anything. The fact is that there was enough uncertainty about Gorsuch’s evasive answers and questionable Constitutional interpretations to sustain a filibuster. Now they’ve set a precedent—which they will most likely come to regret less than 2 years from now.
Mitch McConnell, today, after the Gorsuch confirmation vote:
Democratic? Good Lord. We really could have a turning point on our hands. Has he somehow rediscovered proper English grammar? And why am I reminded of a classroom moment featuring Miss Shields, from the movie “A Christmas Story?”
But back to our article:
Well, yes, they do favor powerful interests over average people. But that’s what the GOP is all about, in actions if not in words.
Admittedly, democrats were still ticked off about Garland, and the fact that republican voters seem oblivious to their elected leaders’ blatant hypocrisy. (They wouldn’t give Garland a vote for some 10 months, leaving the Supreme Court seat vacant, but thought Democrats were just terrible for delaying the Gorsuch vote with the threat of a filibuster.) You’d think Democrats would be accustomed to this sort of double standard bullshit by now.
Senate confirms Gorsuch to Supreme Court, giving Trump big win
Truly, he is Winning Big and Kicking Ass in Business and in Life. Thus the meteoric rise of his job approval rating. Evidently opinions vary greatly concerning whose asses will ultimately be taking the kicking.