The U.S. flag blows in the wind, seen through columns at the Supreme Court building in Washington on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. On Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed that Scalia has died at the age of 79. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

SCOTUS Filibuster? Now He Owns It

Politico published an opinion piece authored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrat Minority Leader this morning. You have to hand it to the camera hungry New Yorker, evidently he has decided to double down in favor of the progressive left fringe. Earlier, it appeared he would give Democratic collegues such as Sen. Jeff Merkley D-Oregon permission to filibuster and even voice support, while at the same time allowing senators facing difficult 2018 elections the latitude to vote against the filibuster. It was this same consideration which drove many pundits and politicians to openly speculate there would be no need for the nuclear option. Until today, this did really look like standard senate theatre, staged with every actor hitting their mark.

Which is what makes the good senator’s article today news worthy. He is now definitively stating party policy:

“These actions show a lack of respect for the separation of powers—and that’s why Senate Democrats will do everything we can to make sure that the next Supreme Court justice will be an independent check on an out-of-control executive.”

There should be no doubt where the Democratic Party sits now. Their leader has now announced the impending filibuster of SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch. It fair to say he has the support of his party, which is undoubtably the reason he only used the word “filibuster” in reference to Republicans. Rather, he continues to advance the talking point centered about an imaginary 60 vote threshold being the “standard” for every SCOTUS nomination. Even the Washington Post decried his claim, awarding it Two Pinocchios.

“Democrats are being slippery with their language. Sixty votes is not “a standard” for Supreme Court confirmations, as two of the current justices on the court did not meet that supposed standard.”

Even more amazing is how he further expands this justification:

“Nominees to our nation’s highest court must demonstrate that they are mainstream and independent enough to earn the support of at least 60 senators from both parties. Both of President Obama’s nominees to the Supreme Court exceeded that level of support.”

Senator Schumer actually has the temerity to suggest Justices Kagan and Sotomeyor should be considered and actually are “mainstream” as validated by the votes of Republican senators.It doesn’t even take a Republican to comprehend how utterly deceptive this statement is. Conflating Republican votes for these two liberal Justices with their belief of them being “mainstream” is so ludicrous that it needs no defense. But, then he really sticks the knife in:

“The simple question we are asking is: Can President Trump’s nominee meet that same test? If the nominee fails to meet 60 votes, the answer isn’t to change the rules; it’s to change the nominee.”

In other words, don’t do what we threatened or in reality actually promised we would do in the event we got back in power. No, we’d now rather you honored rich tradition which by the way you are to blame for because you voted for our nominees.

The ever smug senator finishes his opus with a condescending pat on the head to the majority party:

“This is not unfair or obstructionist—this is the Senate doing its job by critically evaluating a nominee who will have immense impact on the lives of Americans.”

That’s rich.

The real question is how much power he really possesses. Is he similar to the belligerent boxer Harry Reid, or the “no red line I can’t walk back” former president?  He’s committed his party to obstruction, very soon we’ll find out if he can actually enforce it. In either case, he owns it now.

About the author

Wm. P. Fitzhenry

5th generation Texan, 2nd generation reformed Presbyterian, a twin and a serial entrepreneur.

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