Friday, March 31, 2017

Gorsuch Faces Filibuster

Judge Neil Gorsuch | Power Line
Although most observers believe the education, experience, judicial record and hearing performance of Neil Gorsuch qualifies him for the Supreme Court, it is possible Democrats will oppose him as a party position. Apparently, he doesn’t qualify for an upper or down vote due to the anti-Trump resistance and anger over Merrick non-action.

If Republicans remain united, a Democratic filibuster is merely a delaying tactic. In fact, Senate President Mitch McConnell is so confident, he stated the vote will be on April 7. That may require ending the filibuster tradition for Supreme Court nominees, which the Republicans can do with their 52-vote majority. Democrats need 41 votes to stop a closure vote of 60. If eight Democrats vote with Republicans, the filibuster is broken. As of March 29, Democrats had collected 25 commitments for the filibuster.

Ending the filibuster rule would be a major change in how the Senate operates and in its tradition of protecting minority positions. But in today’s polarized and hyper-partisan environment, it may be inevitable.

Western and conservative state Democrats hold the key, including Michael Bennet who is assumed
Sen. Michael Bennet
will be a vote against a filibuster. But Jon Tester of Montana, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are facing pressure to break from progressive interest groups and support a vote. A number of Senate veterans, including Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Dianne Feinstein of California, may also be a possible vote for closure. But as of today, the vote appears very close.

Read my blog: Early Returns: Gorsuch Gets to 60 and Colorado’s Two Senators Support Him

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