Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., answers questions from reporters about challenges facing President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law in the Supreme Court next week, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 23, 2012. The GOP leader criticized the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as "Obamacare," as the single worst piece of legislation during his time in Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Dear Mitch McConnell: Now’s The Time To Go Nuclear on SCOTUS Filibuster

It doesn’t matter who President Trump picks for the Supreme Court. Democrats are going to filibuster and raise the bar to 60 votes.

“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” [Oregon Dem. Sen. Jeff] Merkley said in an interview. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”

It’s a move that will prompt a massive partisan battle over Trump’s nominee and could lead to an unraveling of the Senate rules if Merkley is able to get 41 Democrats to join him in a filibuster. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also reminded her Twitter followers on Sunday night that Supreme Court nominees can still be blocked by the Senate minority, unlike all other executive and judicial nominees.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed the opinion that he would do whatever it took to get Trump’s SCOTUS pick confirmed, and he has not ruled out invoking the “nuclear option” of removing the filibuster from Supreme Court nominations. That option is already gone for lower federal courts, and you’d better believe that if we had a Democrat in the White House with Democrats controlling the Senate, it would already be gone for SCOTUS.

But McConnell has not committed to the nuclear option either.

Respectfully, to Sen. McConnell: You can’t ride the fence on this one. Anything Trump touches is not going to be a genteel, cordial political tête-à-tête. It’s going to be something between a Mexican cockfight and a wild tiger fighting a momma bear. It’s to the death, for all the marbles, with no holds barred.

Let me reference point number 3 of “how Republicans can win when Trump is immensely unpopular.” (I know quoting myself is gauche, but doing it gives me “I told you so” privileges if this doesn’t happen.)

Stick it to the Democrats on the Supreme Court. Kill the filibuster. Reid would have done it. Shove it down their throats, and do it quickly because Trump may waver if he thinks he doesn’t have enough support for a SCOTUS pick. Sticking it to the Democrats is very popular among Trump’s core supporters.

Lose this one and 2018 starts looking really dim and stormy.

There’s only one way Trump will get a decent conservative nominee confirmed to the Court. McConnell must go nuclear. Do it now.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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