Democrats have the votes to filibuster Judge Gorsuch – Tea-Publicans to go ‘nuclear’

I recently posted that Democrats will filibuster the stolen seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Our Trumpster blog troll, state Sen.John Kavanagh, commented “Stop dreaming. Gorsuch will be confirmed without the nuclear option.”

He is, of course, WRONG (as always).

This is now confirmed by both the New York Times, Senate Democrats Appear Poised to Filibuster Gorsuch Nomination:

Senate Democrats on Monday appeared to secure the votes necessary to filibuster the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, sending the body hurtling toward a bitter partisan confrontation later this week.

With an announcement from Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing to vote on Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, Democrats found their 41st vote in support of a filibuster.

Later in the hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee moved to approved the nomination in a party-line vote, 11 to 9, to move President Trump’s selection to the Senate floor.

If the filibuster holds, Republicans have hinted strongly that they will pursue the so-called nuclear option, changing longstanding practices to elevate Judge Gorsuch on a simple majority vote.

The nomination fight has been shadowed, in large measure, by the treatment of Judge Merrick B. Garland, whom President Barack Obama nominated in March 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia the month before. Republicans refused to even consider Judge Garland during a presidential election year.

But Democrats insist that their opposition to Judge Gorsuch stems from more than a thirst for payback. They have cited Judge Gorsuch’s record on workers’ rights and his degree of independence from Mr. Trump and conservative groups like the Federalist Society, among other concerns.

And the Washington Post, Democrats secure enough votes to block Gorsuch, setting stage for ‘nuclear option:

Senate Democrats secured enough votes Monday to filibuster the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, increasing the likelihood that Republicans will enact a rules change to ensure his confirmation and pushing the battle into its climactic final act.

Four more Senate Democrats confirmed they will support a filibuster of Gorsuch’s nomination, giving the minority party the requisite 41 votes to maintain their procedural roadblock under pressure from Republicans.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) and Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) indicated they would vote “no” to end debate on the Senate floor and would oppose Gorsuch in a final vote.

Leahy, the Senate’s longest-serving member, criticized Gorsuch’s answers during his marathon confirmation hearing as “excruciatingly evasive.”

“I cannot recall a nominee refusing to answer such basic questions about the principles underlying our Constitution and about how he interprets those principles,” Leahy said. “These are fundamental questions that we should ask every nominee seeking a lifetime appointment to our highest court.”

Leahy said that a GOP move to end the Supreme Court filibuster would damage the Senate. But argued that he must vote his conscience, even if that pushed Republicans toward the rules change.

“I cannot vote solely to protect an institution when the rights of hard-working Americans are at risk,” he said, “because I fear that the Senate I would be defending no longer exists.”

* * *

Republicans have vowed to confirm Gorsuch by Friday, when a two-week recess is set to begin, meaning the process will consume the Senate’s floor schedule this week. That timeline would give the 49-year-old federal appellate judge a chance to join the high court in late April and to participate in the final cases of this year’s term, which will end in June.

[A]lthough the Republican-controlled Senate is likely to confirm him, that will happen only if the chamber’s rules are changed.

For Tea-Publicans, there are no rules or ethics on their march towards authoritarianism.

For years the GOP created a crisis in the federal courts by refusing to act on President Obama’s judicial nominations to fill vacancies in the federal courts on the theory that the federal judiciary belongs to Republicans.   Tea-Publicans largely opposed Obama’s nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor (vote of 68–31) and Justice Elena Kagan (vote of 63–37.).

On the very day  of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell upped the ante by announcing an unprecedented and unconstitutional judicial “blockade” – an act of war – that no nominee by President Obama would receive consideration in the Senate, let alone a confirmation vote, on the theory that the Supreme Court belongs to Republicans and they would wait for the election results in November.

If Hillary Clinton won, Tea-Publicans would continue their judicial blockade indefinitely. If Donald Trump won, they would move to fill the vacancy with someone to the right of even Justice Scalia as quickly as possible.

And now the GOP is willing to blow up the Senate in order to have their way. This is what the face of authoritarianism looks like.

21 thoughts on “Democrats have the votes to filibuster Judge Gorsuch – Tea-Publicans to go ‘nuclear’”

  1. From The Washington Post Opinion Section by Marc A. Thiessen – some balance:

    There has never been a successful filibuster of a nominee for associate justice in the history of the republic — and the idea that Gorsuch should be the first is patently absurd. By any reasonable standard, President Trump nominated a jurist of impeccable temperament, character and intellect who has won plaudits from across the political spectrum. Liberal Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has declared that “Gorsuch is a brilliant, terrific guy who would do the Court’s work with distinction.” Former Obama acting solicitor general Neal Katyal, who introduced Gorsuch at his confirmation hearings as a “wonderfully humane and decent person,” penned a New York Times op-ed in which he suggested that “liberals should back Neil Gorsuch” because he would “stand up for the rule of law and say no to a president or Congress that strays beyond the Constitution and laws.”

    • This is completely false. Mitch McConnell’s “blockade” – an act of war – of Judge Merrick Garland is the longest and most successful “filibuster of a nominee for associate justice in the history of the Republic.” It was done without regard to his impeccable qualifications or merit. It was a raw political power grab to steal a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, a crime against democracy.

      Marc Thiessen has always been a GOPropagandist. As Charles Pierce calls The Washington Post’s opinion page: “Fred Hiatt’s Workshop For Ghastly Writing.” Thiessen is a prime example.

      • “… Mitch McConnell’s “blockade” – an act of war – of Judge Merrick Garland…”

        The first time you said it was “an act of war”, I gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed it was just specious hyperbole. But you used the same term here which makes me think you genuinely believe it was an act of war. So-o-o, who is declaring war on whom? Don’t you feel even a little bit silly using the term?

        ” It was a raw political power grab to steal a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court…”/i”

        Or…it was a shrewd political gamble that paid off handsomely. It just depends on how you look at it. After all, no one expected Trump to win at that point, so they were taking a chance of a Hillary appointment.

      • You can’t redefine your way to winning an argument. Garland was not filibustered. Have you no shame?

        • It is you who is ignoring the reality of what has occurred over the past year. What McConnell has done is far worse.

          • Okay, what have you done with AzBM? And who are you?

            This is not the usual sharp and ascerbic writing I expect from him. It is also not the display of a sharp and focused mind that I expect from AzBM.

            So I say again, what have you done with the real AzBM?

      • …and are you saying that Thiessen made up the Laurence Tribe quote or do you just want to redefine “brilliant” and “teriffic.”

  2. “On the very day of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell upped the ante by announcing an unprecedented and unconstitutional judicial “blockade”…”

    “Unprecedented”?!? Where did you get that from? It has only been in relatively recent history that approval by the Senate of Supreme Court nominees required 60 votes. “Unconstitutional”?!? “Advise and Consent” is one of the functions of the Senate clearly and specifically called for in the Constitution. You are slipping, AzBM, to make such an outlandish statement.

    “…– an act of war –…”

    I burst out laughing at that one! An “act of war” brought about by the Senate over the approval of a Supreme Court Nominee! I had no idea that the Senate could declare war on the United States. I must have missed that in Civics 101.

    “…on the theory that the Supreme Court belongs to Republicans and they would wait for the election results in November.”

    I don’t recall ever hearing any mention of the fact that the Supreme Court belongs to the GOP. Not even in jest. Did you just make that up out of whole cloth? Because it didn’t come from anywhere else.

    “And now the GOP is willing to blow up the Senate in order to have their way. This is what the face of authoritarianism looks like.”

    I do believe that your “Hyperbole Button” is stuck in the High setting. I can’t believe that you really believe some of things you wrote here and assume you wrote it in order to excite the troops about something you consider a serious breach of…trust? ethics? tradition? Actually, I don’t know what you might consider it a breach of, but you are highly upset by it.

    My opinion is that the rule was a stupid rule that should have never been in place. The GOP should go ahead and toss it out now because they will have to do it anyway very soon when Justice Ginsburg leaves the Supreme Court. Now or later, the GOP will have to change the rule.

    As an aside, if people think the democrats are upset over this SCOTUS nominee, just wait until Trump appoints another conservative judge to replace Ginsburg. The democrats know Ginsburg’s seat belongs to them and they will fight tooth and nail to keep it a liberal seat.

    • Advise and Consent is certainly a Constitutional function of the Senate with regard to certain appointments, largely in Federal Cabinet and Federal Judiciary positions.

      However, I would turn that question around: At what point is the Senate in breach of its duties when its ‘advice’ is simply ‘No, Not Happening, Anything and everything will be opposed without any advising or discussion happening.”?

      It is not as though Garland was a shining example of a bleeding-heart firebrand, either. He seemed, at least based on what I can surmise, to be as inoffensive and moderate of a candidate for a SCOTUS seat as could be, and yet that wasn’t even good enough even for a hearing.

      I seem to recall a study done which suggests that while political polarization in Congress has been increasing over the last forty years, that is largely driven by the GOP moving much further to the right than by the Democrats moving to the left.

  3. Gorsuch may be a fine man in his elite circles, but he does NOT represent what’s best for America for the next 40 years or its working class people and the broken and failed justice system created to eliminate all those they do not want or like. Mass incarceration nation. The U.S. #1 jailer in the world. Our reality.

    • You should know. Haven’t you “ruled” over the people long enough? Time to hang it up and make room for the next generation that isn’t living in the 20th century. Go enjoy your vast desert filled with prisons.

  4. Flake penned absolute hypocrisy in the Phoenix paper saying Gorsuch needed an up or down vote. Except Merrick didn’t get a hearing, let alone a vote. Flake is the worst kind of right wing hypocrite. One that occasionally SOUNDS rationale, but ACTS just as bad as the worst of the hypocrites.

    • Your well informed comment is a great public service. Need more like you to speak up. Oh, I forgot they are too busy watching Fox Hannity and O’Reilly to read any of this.

    • Speaking of hypocrites, how about Sen. Schumer? From the Daily Caller:

      “During a Sunday morning appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer decried the intent of many Senate Republicans to prevent President Barack Obama from appointing the successor to deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.”

      “But less than a decade ago, Schumer advocated doing the same exact thing if any additional Supreme Court vacancies opened under former President George W. Bush.”

      Read more:

      • Exactly how many Bush justices were denied a hearing and a vote like Garland? Exactly ZERO. McConnell made up an absolutely, unconstitutional standard. If we use that standard then Trump’s should not get a vote nor a hearing. We can only hope THIS is his last year in office.

        • “If we use that standard then Trump’s should not get a vote nor a hearing.

          By what convoluted reasoning do you arrive at that conclusion? They are completely different situations. Obama was trying to nominate someone just as he was becoming a lame duck President. More importantly, the GOP controls Congress.

          But, again, how did you come up with the idea that Trump’s appointees should be delayed, also?

          Oh, I suspect that we will have Trump around for eight uears, not just one. ;o)

          • I’m pretty sure that, depending on the definition of ‘lame-duck’, he either already was one for three years, or wouldn’t become one for another 6 months.

            If you’re going with definition 2, the argument is not valid. If you choose option 1, are you arguing that any appointments made in the second term of a president should just be thrown out and not even considered?

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