On Tuesday night, President Trump selected Judge Neil Gorsuch as his first Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch is a judge being described as very similar to Scalia, in terms of judicial thinking and skepticism of government. As a result, Senator Chuck Schumer has vowed to stall and possibly filibuster this nomination, perhaps leading to a situation where Senate rules will be altered to allowed a simple majority confirmation of Supreme Court justices, also known as the “nuclear option.”

Report from Fox News:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., vowed Tuesday night that President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick would be confirmed by the Senate.

When asked on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier” whether he would use the so-called “nuclear option” to force Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation by a simple majority vote, McConnell said, “I’m not going to answer that. Let me just tell you, we’re going to get this judge confirmed.”

“But isn’t that answering?” host Bret Baier pressed.

“We’re going to get the judge confirmed,” McConnell repeated.

“So you would?” Baier asked again.

“We’re going to get the judge confirmed,” said McConnell, who later pointed out that six Senate Democrats had already come out against filibustering against Gorsuch’s appointment.

The bottom line is that if it comes down to it, McConnell will in fact use the “nuclear option” to get Gorsuch on the bench. Democrats changed the filibuster rule back during the Obama administration to get Federal judges confirmed with a simple majority, though stopped short of changing the rule for Supreme Court nominees. McConnell may be the one to take it one step further, and undoubtedly Trump will be pushing for it.

Senator Ted Cruz, an ardent opponent of Trump during the campaign, has also vowed to fight for the Gorsuch nomination:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in an interview Tuesday that “all procedural options are on the table” when it comes to confirming a strong conservative to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court.

“The Democrats are not going to succeed in filibustering the Supreme Court nominee,” Cruz told Politico. “All procedural options are on the table. The bottom line is we will confirm a strong conservative to replace Justice Scalia.”

What the Gorsuch nomination appears to have done is unify the Republican Party around Trump’s choice, and will create something for them to rally on in coming months.

The Democratic responses was, as expected, to cast serious doubt on Gorsuch and start to build up a narrative as to why his nomination should be opposed. This from Yahoo News:

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he has “serious doubts” about whether Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, should be confirmed. Schumer, the leader of the Senate Democrats, made the statement shortly after the announcement Tuesday night and suggested that he’s willing to filibuster Trump’s choice for the high court.

“Judge Gorsuch has repeatedly sided with corporations over working people, demonstrated a hostility toward women’s rights, and most troubling, hewed to an ideological approach to jurisprudence that makes me skeptical that he can be a strong, independent Justice on the Court,” Schumer said in a statement.

The Senate minority leader also emphasized that the Senate should keep its 60-vote standard — the amount necessary to defeat a filibuster — to approve Supreme Court nominees, calling it “a bar that was met by each of President Obama’s nominees.” Schumer said it is up to Gorsuch to prove he is in the “mainstream” and willing to defend the Constitution from “abuses of the executive branch.”

Schumer has to make these points, it’s his job to paint Gorsuch as outside the mainstream as a means to justify stiff opposition. McConnell claims he has six Democratic Senators who have said Gorsuch should not be filibustered. If true, that would point to an easy win for confirmation even on a party line vote of 52 to 48. Schumer’s job will be to hold together a coalition of Democratic Senators willing to go to the mat over this issue and prevent any more from breaking off. I’m not sure how this will play out, but I suspect it will be a lengthy process that will be a rough ride for all parties.

Trump has stated he wants Gorsuch seated on the Court by early April, which is just before the Court meets for the next term of cases. That basically gives McConnell two months to get this process done. Get your popcorn ready.

26 COMMENTS

      • The comment isn’t foolish. Your lack of comprehension of my point, however, is. If you can’t grasp the point of the comment, then it is probably better for you to say nothing rather than publicly embarrass yourself by displaying your ignorance.

  1. Chuck Schumer says that he wants a judge who will protect the rights of people against corporations. I wonder is he referring to the Hobby Lobby case? If he is does that mean that a small minority of deviants are able to dictate what my religious freedoms are??

    Schumer also wants a judge who will vote with the times in other words a left wing WHACKO. Remember Chuckie your party is in the minority because people were sick and tired of the Democrats accommodating fringe, radical elements of society while taking the majority of people for granted.

      • I hate to break it to you, this wasn’t a popularity contest. If Billary hadn’t been so cocky and campaigned in states that she thought were shoo-ins (MI, WI), the result may have been different. But no she was supposed to coronated, after all it was her birth right, SHE IS A CLINTON.?

        For now all I can say is that I feel your pain. I had to put up with eight years of the most inept, incompetent and ineffectual president I can remember. What was his name, oh yeah it was Obama.?

        • Straight Shooter…I hope you are ready to feel some real pain. Trump and company aims to complete the action of cutting taxes for the rich by summer’s end. All the while paying for a 15 billion dollar border wall and other million dollar spending proposals, covering the cost of an infrastructure bill and taking must-do actions to raise the government’s borrowing limit. If you are of the middle and lower income people, tighten your belt, for you will be paying for all of these expenditures for years to come. That’s the Republican way –“the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer”.

          • If things get done, then the entire country must chip in. Now we have O’Bugger who doubled the debt from 10 to 20 Trillion and what did that give us? NOTHING that’s what.?

            Would you rather pay now for changes you can see in your lifetime —- Trump.
            Of course you can live your life free from sacrifice, however that financial burden will be passed on to your children or grandchildren— Obama.?

            Which do you prefer??

            • Straight Shooter…Please explain what you mean by the whole country must chip in. Chip in to what purpose and how much does each person chip in? What are these changes that we pay for now and see in our lifetime?
              President Obama was not the sole contributor to the national debt. He inherited a staggering national debt from President Bush’s War as well as a country going into a staggering depression. A national debt does not stagnate, it accumulates the charges of high interest payments as well. At least, give Obama credit for presiding over a gradual 1 trillion dollar reduction in the federal deficit.
              Who lives a life without sacrifices? What financial burdens are you referring to?
              You post is all talk and no facts.

            • hgh…Close your eyes and take three deep breaths…stating facts simply leaves the ‘blame game” up to the reader. You freely make accusations but offer no facts to back them up. It is obvious that you write without thinking and speak without any knowledge of your subject. So, offer facts about Bush and facts about Obama. Your hit and run is meaningless jibe.

            • Berkley, where is this 1 Trillion dollar reduction. Bush left with an 8 Trillion debt and Obama left with a 20 Trillion debt. Please explain your math calculations. It’s not all interest payments.

          • Spot on. Poor, or even middle class Republicans, constantly fail to grasp this. The rich do not care about anyone else , but themselves. Which, in itself, is the inherent selfishness of the conservative mindset. So, they really should not be surprised to find that rich Republicans will screw them over just as easily as they try to screw over everyone else they imagine to be their “enemy”.

          • I have no problem paying more if something is getting accomplished with the money I am paying. Unlike if either Obama or Hillary were in office, where nothing, as in the last 8 years, would have been accomplished.

        • Sorry to inform you but Californians are Americans too. Trump would never have won popular vote. There are simply too many decent Americans who fortunately outnumber the dumbasses and the assholes.

        • LOL. At least you didn’t try to baffle us with #goldenshowers’ bullshit about 3 million illegal aliens voting. He is really freaked out about losing the popular vote.

      • In a Presidential election the majority means absolutely nothing. Ever hear of Electoral votes, majority is not required. Seems you need a little more education. Campaigns are run based on the rules of the election process. If a simple majority is needed the campaign would be run entirely different from one based on Electoral votes. Hillary failed to realize that simple fact.

  2. The sad fact is that the Supreme Court has become packed with political hacks. During the campaign, when it looked like Hillary would win in a walk,I said we should have a new system–have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans agree on a list of nominees, and recommend them to the President.

    As it is now, presidents try to find the most extremely political nominee they can find–and then try to find someone who’s about 12 years old, so they’ll be on the court when we’re dead. It’s destroying the country,

    The judiciary should be the one place where issues are considered on merit, not whether they are attached to a D or an R.

    • I totally agree. Most members of our present congress are in dire need of Constitution schooling. With a heavy emphasis on the Amendments. And maybe constant reminders to both parties that they work for all the people, they represent all citizens, not just the rich, not just those who voted for them, but all the people of this country.

  3. Schumer will fight regardless of who they put up for confirmation. He would probably complain if Jesus Christ was alive and put up for an office under Donald Trump.

    • Wouldn’t it be wonderful If we all walked the same old walk, talked the same old talk, sang the same old song; but wouldn’t it be a tiresome world?

      It is Shumer’s job, and his right, to fight against what he feels is injustice and flag your nose policies. He is still fuming over the way Senate Republicans stole the Supreme Court seat by refusing to open a hearing on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. Holding the judgeship open until Trump became president so he could name the new judge. These shameful actions of Senate Republicans won’t be ignored in future history books.

      By the way, our Lord Jesus Christ, which you spoke of so carelessly, does not condone
      thievery or lying in any form or fashion so, I am sure, he does have an eye on Donald Trump.

        • Can’t speak for you, Ashley, but unlike Trump, I won’t have to face penance for lying, cheating, stealing, and fornication.

          • I don’t know you, but, i’m sure that you like myself have things in his past which the Lord is aware of and the penance will come eventually. These may not be grave things but small indiscretions.

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