Dems force “nuclear option” and Gorsuch is confirmed

Operation_Upshot-Knothole_-_Badger_001 (1)The Democrats invoked their filibuster privilege to block the vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.  So the Republicans used the so-called “nuclear option.”  They changed the rules to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.  The Democrats, under a previous administration, themselves went nuclear to eliminate the filibuster for other presidential nominations.

Now the Senate cannot block any presidential appointments.  But the Democrats can feel good about themselves.  (“Take that, Republicans!  I guess we showed you, Donald Trump!”)  Even though the gesture significantly weakens their power in the Senate.

UPDATE:  The Senate has confirmed Judge Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. [Read more…]

Democrats will filibuster away their power

Claude_Rains_and_James_Stewart_in_Mr._Smith_Goes_to_Washington_(1939)The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to recommend Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, so Democrats are planning to filibuster.  This will trigger the “nuclear option” of Republicans voting to change the rules to eliminate the filibuster when it comes to nominations like this.

Thus the Democrats will “make a statement” that will diminish their ability to stop nominations!  This is an example of the “virtue signalling” that has become part of our culture.  The purpose is apparently for the liberal Senators to show how “virtuous” they are to their liberal base.  But the gesture will just make them even more ineffectual.

In the meantime, as Democrats demonize the distinguished Judge Gorsuch, who models the ideal judicial temperament, Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford raises some questions. From an editorial in the Daily Oklahoman:

In a recent floor speech, Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, deftly demonstrated that opposition has nothing to do with Gorsuch’s qualifications. When Gorsuch was confirmed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006, Lankford noted, support was unanimous. “He was seen as a consistent, solid, mainstream, fair judge, which means Senator Joe Biden voted for him, Hillary Clinton voted for him, Chuck Schumer voted for him, Barack Obama voted for him in 2006,” Lankford said. He argued there’s nothing to suggest Gorsuch has “left the mainstream” since that 2006 vote, noting the judge’s opinions have drawn fewer dissents than any other judge on the 10th Circuit. It says much about Democrats’ extreme partisanship that they must now tacitly suggest their most prominent liberal leaders are clueless in order to oppose Gorsuch.

After the jump, an article on the Gorsuch situation and an explanation of the filibuster and its history.

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Democrats will filibuster Gorsuch

412px-Senator_Chuck_Schumer_(cropped)Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says that Democrats will filibuster the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Republicans have said that if this happens, they will launch “the nuclear option” of changing the rules to eliminate the filibuster option for presidential appointments.

Schumer says that some Republicans will want to keep the traditional Senate perogative of unlimited debate (unless there is a 60 vote cloture), so he doesn’t think the Republicans can get the votes necessary to change the rule.

 

Photo of Chuck Schumer by y United States Senate – https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdmc/27720474940/in/album-72157667655342524/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56927097

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Shutting down the government over the Wall & Planned Parenthood

Chuck_Schumer_January_2016Senate Democrats say they will shut down the government by filibustering any spending bills that include building a wall along the Mexican border or that defund Planned Parenthood.

The government runs out of money on April 28 unless more funding is approved.

President Trump plans to release his proposed budget this week.

If the government gets shut down, the Democrats are convinced that Republicans will get blamed.

 

Photo of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer by Senate Democrats https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdmc/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdmc/24305804949) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

Neil_Gorsuch_10th_CircuitPresident Donald Trump has nominated Colorado appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia.  Reportedly, Judge Gorsuch is from that same mold:  eloquent, learned, articulate, and an “originalist” when it comes to interpreting the Constitution.

He is the author of a book against euthanasia and supported Hobby Lobby in its suit against the Obamacare birth control mandate.  An Anglican, he would be the only Protestant on the bench, joining the 5 Catholics and 3 Jews currently serving.  He is only 49, which means he would be on the court for a good long time.

Democrats began planning their opposition tactics before they even knew who was the nominee.  Some are urging that that Senate Democrats filibuster the nomination.  Republicans are saying that if that happens, they would take the “nuclear option” of voting to change the rules to limit filibusters, changing the Senate’s time-honored tradition of unlimited debate. [Read more…]

Rand Paul’s filibuster

Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul has been staging an old-fashioned filibuster, staging a marathon speech and holding the Senate floor in opposition to the renewal of the Patriot Act, which authorizes certain government surveillance of citizens.

The Senate has pretty much replaced the old “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” actual  filibuster with the mere threat of a filibuster, so that bills typically require a 60 vote super-majority that would be enough to shut off debate should a filibuster actually occur.  Sen. Paul, though, has too few allies on this subject, so he is going the “Mr. Smith” route.  He has only a few allies helping him hold the floor, and there is enough support for the Patriot Act to shut off debate, which will probably happen at 1:00 p.m. today.

So do you “stand with Rand”? [Read more…]