In multiple interviews, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has insisted there is a filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. He did it again last night on MSNBC where he suggested any nominee the GOP finds acceptable would be outside the mainstream. In fact, Schumer is suddenly okay with an eight seat Supreme Court.
Schumer, when insisting that the filibuster is there for Supreme Court picks, notes that the filibuster no longer exists for other executive nominations. Of course he says he regrets it and dodges the fact that Democrats are the ones who scuttled it.
Historically, there is a familiar pattern in Supreme Court nominations. Democrats always seem to obstruct Republican nominees to get moderate picks. Republicans always cave on Democrat picks. The Democrats get reliable liberals on the Court and Republicans get David Souter and Anthony Kennedy.
It is time to go full circle and eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. Wipe it out. Democrats should not get to eliminate the other nominations filibuster without this also going. It is inconsistent.
Neither side favors elimination of the legislative filibuster. I would oppose that, too. But to say executive nominations cannot be filibustered unless it is the Supreme Court is inconsistent and unfair. Democrats have made it clear that if they get the White House and the Senate, they will end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. They were open and honest about that when they thought Clinton would win and they’d get the Senate.
The Republicans should help them out now.