Abandoning All Intellectual Honesty, Democrats Attack One of Elena Kagan’s Loves

Democrats cannot help but beclown themselves over Neil Gorsuch. After Barack Obama’s election, Democrats convinced themselves they would never, ever again be in the minority so it was safe to scrap the filibuster for nominations. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer whipped the Democrats into line and forced through the change. They did not scrap the filibuster. They just determined it did not apply to nominations. They carefully exempted Supreme Court nominations. But, so convinced were they that Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency and they would retake the Senate, Reid and Schumer preemptively announced they would scuttle the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees in 2017.

Well, things did not go as planned. After the Democrats originally scrapped the filibuster, Republicans took back the Senate and refused to confirm any new judges in retribution. When the election went to Trump, the Democrats had already tipped their hand that they intended to scrap the filibuster for the Supreme Court. Now the GOP is doing it for them.

All the Democrats have left is hysteria. Swallowing their intellectual honesty, Senators Dick Durbin and Sheldon Whitehouse led the latest and most hysterical attack on Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch, according to the Democrats, is a member of a secretive, extremist group that has lobbied for Gorsuch under the radar. This nefarious, radical group of the right has been plotting for years to place Gorsuch on the Supreme Court it seems.

The name of this nefarious, secretive, extremist group? That would be the Federalist Society.

The Federal Society is so nefarious, secretive, and extreme that every single sitting member of the United States Supreme Court has spoken at its events. Justice Elena Kagan, when she served as Harvard Law School’s dean, declared “I love the Federalist Society.”

Justice Sotomayor spoke during a Federalist Society panel discussion.

Justice Breyer had the audacity to join Justice Scalia at a Federalist Society event.

Even the Notorious RBG herself, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has participated in Federalist Society events.

It is that extremist and secretive.

The Federal Society was founded in 1982. It is a nonpartisan organization, but it is definitely a group dedicated to originalism. Justice Elena Kagan has noted that we are all originalists now and that is in large part due not just to Justice Scalia, but due to the Federalist Society. The organization hosts symposiums and encourages both conversation and debate on legal topics. It has been praised by Democrat appointed Supreme Court justices, liberal law professors, and even the head of the ACLU.

You would never know that from Democrats’ hysteria today. They cannot conjure up an Illuminati, so they are forced to demonize a highly respected group. That is all they have left.

Democrats surrendered the moral high ground when they blew up the filibuster for convenience. Now they are regretting it, but have boxed themselves in. Screaming loudly will get them nothing, but it makes them feel better.

What screaming hysterically will not do is stop Neil Gorsuch, who will be sworn in and seated on the United States Supreme Court by sun down Friday.

Oh, and Elena Kagan will love Gorsuch too because he’ll be the newest Justice, thereby relieving Kagan of the traditional duty of opening and closing the door when the Justices all meet to discuss cases.

Thanks To 716, Democrats Have 41 Votes To Filibuster Gorsuch

Democrats have mustered 41 votes, the number required to block cloture and keep a filibuster going against Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation. We have the number 716, and President Trump, to thank for this.

If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backs down on his threats to use the “nuclear option” to change Senate rules and remove the filibuster from Supreme Court justice confirmation votes, we know who to blame. Besides McConnell that is.

The closest senate race in 2016 was between incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte and Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire. The race came down to 716 votes out of 737,772 cast, with $100 million spent between the two candidates. Ayotte lost her seat by half the number of votes than Hillary Clinton carried the state; it amounted to 0.09 percent.

Ayotte went on to take a seat on News Corp’s board of directors today. Hassan took over the senate seat.

Were it not for then-candidate Donald Trump’s trolling of Ayotte, she very well could have kept her seat. “We need loyal people in this country. We need fighters in this country. We don’t need weak people,” Trump told the Washington Post in August. “We have enough of them. We need fighters in this country. But Kelly Ayotte has given me zero support, and I’m doing great in New Hampshire.”

Trump lost in N.H., and so did Ayotte. Hassan has pledged to stand with her Democratic Party and uphold a filibuster. Were that seat not flipped, Democrats would have 40 votes, not enough to stop cloture, and there would be no need for McConnell to go nuclear.

The next time a Democrat is in the White House (don’t think that won’t happen), and a far-left activist judge is nominated to the Supreme Court to legislate new “rights” from Constitutional “penumbras” and “emanations” made from whole cloth, and we have no filibuster, we know who to blame.

If McConnell fails to go nuclear, and the best qualified originalist judge since the late Antonin Scalia is not confirmed, we know who to blame.

I can’t blame Kelly Ayotte. She ran an exemplary campaign. Her only mistake was voicing support for Donald Trump, thinking that possibly he would return the favor. Although he eventually endorsed her, it was a weak and limp gesture.

Trump cost Ayotte the race, and now the GOP–and the country, possibly–has to pay for those 716 votes.

Poor Chuck Schumer. No One Is Buying His Talking Point & USA Today Comes Out for Gorsuch.

A growing number of Senate Democrats are beginning to more openly state they will not filibuster Neil Gorsuch and some are even going so far as to say they will vote for him. They are joined today by the editorial board of USA Today which declares Gorsuch qualified for the Supreme Court and worthy of support.

This is leaving Chuck Schumer in a real mess. Schumer, who this weekend defended getting rid of the filibuster for lower court nominees, maintains that there is a 60 vote requiremet for Gorsuch. There is no such rule. It is a fictitious talking point being bought by unhinged liberals willing to buy any anti-Gorsuch fake news.

Even the Washington Post has had to call B.S. on Schumer’s claim that Gorsuch must get sixty votes to pass the Senate. This is, however, the best Schumer can do. Having surrendered the moral high ground by scuttling the filibuster, he is now left planting stories in friendly outlets that if the GOP gets rid of the filibuster they will be creating some new precedent.

No one believes it except the most partisan of Democrats and even some of them are wavering.

In the real world, Republicans are preparing to destroy the filibuster on Supreme Court nominations anyway. They do not care that more Democrats are coming on board because there is a growing awareness there may really be a second vacancy this summer. The GOP is not going to give Democrats the opportunity to claim Gorsuch is reasonable and worthy of more than 60 votes so they can then claim the next nominee, no matter how well qualified, is unreasonable in order to prevent an ideological shift to the right on the Court.

The filibuster is going away. Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid are to blame for it. And all Schumer has now is a talking point no one believes about sixty vote thresholds. Democrats are abandoning him. The media is abandoning him. And Schumer knows this is going to enrage the Democrats’ base, causing primaries of red state Democrats, which means the odds of him becoming Majority Leader after 2018 become even longer.

Is Chuck Schumer Too Weak To Lead?

Sen. Chuck Schumer D-NY has announced a planned filibuster in an attempt to stop the vote approving SCOTUS nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. (USA Today):

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., made it clear Wednesday that Democrats will filibuster President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, saying it is important that the Colorado judge be “mainstream” enough to appeal to at least some Democrats and attract 60 votes. Under Senate rules, the minority party has the power to insist on a procedural vote known as cloture that requires the approval of 60 senators to end debate and proceed to an up-or-down vote on a high court nominee. Republicans have 52 seats in the Senate. “We Democrats will insist on a rigorous but fair process,” Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor. “There will be 60 votes for confirmation. Any one member can require it. Many Democrats already have, and it is the right thing to do. On a subject as important as a Supreme Court nomination, bipartisan support should be a prerequisite. It should be essential. That’s what 60 votes does.”

Either Sen. Schumer is whipping his members, or he is allowing them to vote their conscience and/or political necessity. This is the definition of “whip” per Wikipedia:

The expression whip in its parliamentary context has its origins in hunting terminology. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term whipper-in as, “a huntsman’s assistant who keeps the hounds from straying by driving them back with the whip into the main body of the pack”. According to that dictionary, the first recorded use of the term whipper-in in the parliamentary sense occurs in 1772. However, P. D. G. Thomas in House of Commons in the Eighteenth Century cites two examples of the use of the term that pre-date 1772.  It was within the context of such summonses to members out of town that the first known Parliamentary instance of the use of the term “whip” occurred. In the debate of 8 May 1769 on a petition from some Middlesex freeholders against the seating of Henry Luttrell instead of John Wilkes, Edmund Burke mentioned that the ministry had sent for their friends to the north and to Paris, “whipping them in, than which, he said, there could not be a better phrase”.

When the leader along with senior members decides to “whip” their members, they can use threats, political inducements, or call in favors. Regardless of their method, the whole idea about whipping their members is to get the required vote count. If leadership cannot successfully whip their members, they should be and would be considered too weak to continue in their leadership roles.

If Sen. Schumer is indeed whipping this vote, then why did this article appear yesterday in The Hill:

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is signaling that he could buck Democratic leadership and help President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee clear a 60-vote threshold in the Senate. “I am not inclined to filibuster, even though I’m not inclined to vote for him,” Leahy — a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee — told a Vermont news outlet.

Sen. Leahy D-VT is not chopped liver. He is a senior ranking Democrat both in the party and in the Senate. Even as importantly, he is a former Judiciary Committee Chairman.

Inside of a high octane scenario such as the upcoming SCOTUS vote, one with 360 degree visibility, if Schumer really were whipping this vote, then the MSM would be rabid with the Leahy defection. The far left would be foaming at the mouth issuing threats and promises to primary. Mika would be sighing and acting like she had just been overcome by the vapors. CNN would die happy being able to issue “Breaking News” alert banners every hour on the hour.

But strangely, none of that is happening. Its not happening to Sen. Leahy, or to Sen. Manchin (Roll Call)

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III on Monday became the first Democratic senator to commit to at least voting for limiting debate on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Manchin’s office confirmed the senator announced he would vote to limit debate on President Donald Trump’s nomination of the federal appeals court judge for the seat vacated by the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, even if Manchin ultimately decides against voting for final confirmation.

What is so curious is the fact neither of these two senators really need to vote against Sen. Schumer. Sure, Sen. Manchin would face some heat back home if he supported Schumer over Trump. But would it mean his downfall? Probably not. To say that Sen. Leahy’s position is safe is a gross understatement. Regardless of his vote, the Vermont liberal is going to be reelected until he retires. There are at least 8-10 Democratic senators that could be in jeopardy if they backed Schumer’s announced filibuster. You can imagine that conversation:

“So Chuck, let’s see…you allowed Patrick and Joe to go off the reservation and vote against you even though they are safe at home, but you’re asking me to risk my seat supporting you? Come on Chuck you know better than that, go get their vote then come back to me if, and only if you absolutely need my vote.”

This fact is bankable; if a senior Democrat such as Sen. Leahy is even publicly considering a vote against Minority Leader Schumer, and if Sen. Joe Manchin is already on record as a no vote in support of the filibuster, Democratic leadership is not serious about whipping this vote. Sen. Schumer is just too wily to allow his name and reputation to be attached to a failing effort especially so early into his tenure in the leadership seat. Failure on this scale would render a leader far too weak to lead, and the questions surrounding just how weak he is, and the process stories of his failure would dominate for at least one or two press cycles.

It is another effort by the MSM to paint Democrats in the best light possible all the while rejecting intellectual honesty whole cloth. It is the height of cognitive dissonance to both trumpet Schumer’s whip efforts while at the same time downplaying what could only be construed as out and out rebellion.

This is another situation where Schumer talks tough but that’s just what it is, talk.

 

 

Mike Lee Promises The Senate Will Confirm Gorsuch “One Way Or Another”

Fed up with the long confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) took to CNN to declare that the GOP will make sure that Gorsuch gets confirmed to the high court.

“Look, we’re going to get Gorsuch confirmed,” Lee said. “This is a good judge; this is a judge who interprets the law based on what it says versus what he might wish it would say, and we intend to get him confirmed. We will get him confirmed one way or another.”

When the anchor pressed him – over and over – on whether “one way or another” meant using “the nuclear option,” Lee stood his ground.

“Yeah, look, there are a number of routes this thing could take, and I believe he will be confirmed at the end of this,” Lee said. “I’m not exactly sure what procedural route, but he’s going to be confirmed.”

Good for Mike Lee for not falling into the interviewer’s trap of insisting on the nuclear option and for standing firm with Gorsuch. I believe we can take Lee at his word – as “Sooper Mexican” put it over at The Right Scoop, “Mike Lee is not the kind of dude to lie about this stuff.”

Dick Durbin’s Theater of the Absurd

If hypocrisy was the coin of the realm, Washington, DC would be full of Scrooge McDucks swimming through pools of filthy lucre.  Take, for example, one Richard Joseph “Dick” Durbin, Senator from the great state of Illinois and the ranking Democrat of that great institution just behind Chucky Schumer (NY, Slightly Less Funny Than His Cousin Amy).  Durbin, you see, has decided after much careful thought and consideration–and a deluge of phone calls, texts and emails from the PACs that fund his campaign coffers, no doubt–that he cannot in good conscience allow the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to move forward:

This is the same Dick Durbin, mind you, who didn’t object to confirming Neil Gorsuch to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals back in 2006.  Then again, when asked about it on Morning Joe, Durbin said he couldn’t even remember if he had voted “aye” or “nay” during that hearing, so maybe he thinks it’s a different Neil Gorsuch up for SCOTUS now.  Or it could just be that Durbin is a puppet dancing at the end of strings held by his special interest masters.

Of one thing, however, there can be no doubt:  these confirmation hearings are nothing but theater.  Rather than debating the actual merits of a nominee, they only serve as opportunities for grandstanding.  Durbin–like every other Democrat senator on the Judiciary Committee–isn’t interested in hearing any answers from Gorsuch.  All they want to do is drag out the process as long as possible, using their question time for speechifying and hoping to draw an ounce of blood from the nominee.  Their minds were made up before the hearings even began.

The Republicans, mind you, aren’t much better–but at least they understand that nominating Supreme Court justices is a presidential prerogative, even when the president is from an opposing party.  There were enough GOP senators who broke ranks to assure the confirmation of both of Barack Obama’s SCOTUS nominees–and this was no accident.  They understood the need to put up some resistance for the sake of their voting base, but in the end they made sure the votes were there for confirmation.  Democrats, in typical fashion, don’t seem inclined to return the favor.

Which is well in good, I suppose.  Republicans will be forced to nuke the Supreme Court filibuster, or face the wrath of voters in the 2018 mid-terms, and the nasty business of gumming up the works started by Harry Reid will finally be concluded.  In the end, though, I’d really like to see a wholesale reform of the confirmation process.  There’s no reason that senators can’t simply submit their questions to SCOTUS nominees in writing, and avoid the whole unseemly spectacle of confirmation hearings entirely.

On Gorsuch – What is Schumer’s Endgame?

Thursday, Sen. Chuck Schumer D-NY announced he would filibuster the SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch, and urged his fellow Democratic senators to follow suit: (WaPo)

“Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ended Thursday on a confrontational note, with the body’s top Democrat vowing a filibuster that could complicate Gorsuch’s expected confirmation and ultimately upend the traditional approach to approving justices. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he will vote no on President Trump’s nominee and asked other Democrats to join him in blocking an up-or-down vote on Gorsuch.”

The Hill actually reports Sen. Schumer will be whipping his members to uphold the filibuster (The Hill):

“Schumer vowed Thursday that he will whip his members against the nominee.”

On the Republican side, some clarity came about yesterday (Weekly Standard):

Sen. McCain:

“Arizona senator John McCain hinted Thursday afternoon that he’s ready to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch with a simple majority if Senate Democrats take the unprecedented step of filibustering a Supreme Court nominee. Asked what Republicans should do if 41 or more Democrats try to block Gorsuch, McCain told THE WEEKLY STANDARD: “I think we’ll address it when it happens. None of us want to do it, but we’re going to confirm Gorsuch.”

Sen. Lindsey:

“Earlier Thursday, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also signaled that he’s willing to confirm Neil Gorsuch with a simple majority. “Whatever it takes to get him on the court, I will do,” Graham said when asked on the Mike Gallagher radio show about eliminating the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees, a rules change sometimes known as the “nuclear option.”

Sen. Flake: 

“Arizona’s Jeff Flake told TWS: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but I think we’ll get him confirmed.”

Sen. Murkowski: 

“There’s no reason for anybody to filibuster,” said Lisa Murkowski, a moderate from Alaska. “Gorsuch is a good guy.”

The pressure is mounting on the Democrat senators to stay firm (The Hill):

“Liberal activists, such as filmmaker Michael Moore, warn that Democrats who vote for Gorsuch will face primary challenges. Heidi Hess, senior campaign manager at CREDO Action, a liberal advocacy group, criticized Bennet Monday after he introduced Gorsuch and “contributed to the lighthearted tone” of the first day of the Judiciary Committee hearings. “A vote for Gorsuch is a vote to hand the court over to Trump,” she said. “In the same way the vote to hand the Iraq war vote to George W. Bush was a stain on Democrats’ record, we see a vote for Gorsuch as a stain on their record and progressives will hold them accountable.”

And there’s more (WaPo):

“Gorsuch’s approach “reflects a narrow view of civil rights and a deep skepticism of protecting those rights in the courtroom,” said Kristen Clarke, head of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “

What is Sen. Schumer’s end game? In the end, is he going to force his members to join him in a filibuster? If so, to what end?

It appears Schumer is keeping his own counsel about his ultimate strategy, but there are only so many options available.  The most reasonable understanding is this is really just a head fake on Schumer’s part. (NPR):

“Democratic sources say the leadership would not mind losing the cloture vote, but they would have to lose eight of their 48 members to do that.”

Essentially the NY senator and his coterie of liberals raise the roof in protest of the good justice, all the while giving 8-10 red state senators leeway to vote to kill the filibuster, then moving on to a simple majority up or down vote. This allows the Dems and MSM to act like they were all-in against allowing the vote, while allowing vulnerable senators the ability to placate voters back home.

This is a bit of a risk for the Democrats. By continuing the threat of a filibuster, they might trigger Sen. McConnell into a rules vote eliminating the filibuster altogether. It is a tight wire act for the libs to be sure.

Right now, the safe bet would be a Democratic filibuster promptly followed by a successful cloture vote overriding the filibuster ending in a successful vote approving Judge Gorsuch. Expect a lot of empty rhetoric, threats and a multitude of prophecy about the senate being ruined by both parties, and various prognostications based on the latest tidbit being fed the press. All good fun. No worries. Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed next month.

Neil Gorsuch Should Be Filibustered

Given his testimony over the course of this week, I am increasingly convinced that Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court should be filibustered and Americans should encourage Democrats to do that. Chuck Schumer should carry out his threat.

During this past week we have learned that Neil Gorsuch is entirely qualified for the Supreme Court. We have learned he is personable, likable, and highly qualified. We have also learned he is smarter than most of the Senators who interviewed him.

Consequently he should be filibustered. Filibustering Neil Gorsuch will show just how unreasonable Democrats are and provide Republicans an opportunity to once and for all scrap the filibuster of all nominees. Democrats selectively scrapped the filibuster when they were in charge. Now they are daring Republicans to finish it off.

Neither side wants an end to the legislative filibuster and I would hate to see that go too. But to leave the remaining filibuster relating to nominations is to set a rule that Democrats can change rules at will and Republicans cannot.

Neil Gorsuch is eminently qualified and no one has laid a glove on him. He should be filibustered so the world can see just how obvious it is the Democrats are playing politics. Then the GOP should end the filibuster.

The Supreme Court will see another vacancy before this year is out. If the GOP ends the filibuster now, they will not have to go through this song and dance again. Likewise, filibustering Gorsuch will demonstrate that the Democrats refuse to treat even the most qualified and competent judges with any respect.

They should filibuster Neil Gorsuch so we can kill off that delaying mechanism once and for all.