The Democrats prepare to filibuster Gorsuch

  • 4 April 2017
  • NormanL
The Democrats prepare to filibuster Gorsuch

Senate Democrats have decided the best way to satisfy their increasingly restive and angry base is to mount a filibuster of Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court:

At least 41 Senate Democrats have said they will oppose President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, as of Monday afternoon, enough to filibuster his nomination and set up a showdown with Republicans over using the so-called "nuclear option."

Democrats have 41 senators ready to block Gorsuch's nomination with a filibuster, meaning the GOP may have to employ the nuclear option to get the federal judge confirmed for the nation's highest court.

That should not come as too much of a surprise, as Sen. Charles Schumer has been threatening some a move since the session began.

However, Sen. Charles Grassely, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had this to say about the Demcorats, their motives, and the likely result:

Despite the “we need nine” mantra from last year, we’ve already heard that Senator Schumer will lead a Democratic filibuster apparently based on hollow reasons that Judge Gorsuch has already answered. He’s not mainstream. He’s not independent.  He’s not telling us how he’ll vote. And, now, because none of those accusations will stick, the Democrats have resorted to attacking his supporters. These same senators don’t like talking about the groups on the left who are attacking the nominee, misrepresenting his record and threatening to primary any Democrat who makes an independent decision.

It’s become abundantly clear that if the Democrats are willing to filibuster somebody with the credentials, judicial temperament and independence of Judge Gorsuch, it’s obvious they would filibuster anybody.

If we’re ever going to get past the well Senator Schumer poisoned when he led the Democrats to “change the ground rules” in 2001 and systematically filibuster circuit court nominees for the first time in our nation’s history, we’re going to need to dig a new well. With or without Senate Democrats.

In other words, Republicans are likely to attempt to change Senate rules, eliminating the filibuster -- the "nuclear option."

Some Republicans aren't comfortable with this, as it can have long term consequences (always remembering that party control in the Senate is no sure thing). Given the circumstances at play today, however, Sen. Grassley is right. Democrats have poisoned the well. It's time to dig a new one. If that means using a rules change that would mean confirming Gorsuch without any Democratic support, so be it.

Game on.