Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Beltway Rules – Gorsuch Vote

When Neil Gorsuch’s nomination was announced by Donald Trump on January 31, the stars appeared aligned for a smooth, if not easy, confirmation. Not easy given the current polarized politics, the bitter election result and President Trump’s ability to rile up the country’s left wing. And the Merrick Garland experience added resentment. But Gorsuch’s qualifications, his initial reception and the precedent for allowing a vote on justices led me to claim Gorsuch “gets to 60 and Colorado’s two Senators support him.” Wrong on both counts. Democrats decided to forget precedent and filibuster. Gorsuch supporters could not break it and Republicans went to a majority vote, ending the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. And Michael Bennet went with his caucus and the resistance.

The entire drama was a product of beltway politics.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy (right) administers
judicial oath to Neil Gorsuch at White House, as his wife, Marie
Louise, and President Trump look on | Evan Vucci/AP

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