Cooler heads among the Democrats know that they face disaster if they filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, and I’ve suspected from the beginning that Chuck Schumer is quietly rounding up eight votes from safe Democrats to vote for cloture to prevent the Republicans from getting rid of the filibuster. Politico reports that Democrats are trying to get a deal from enough Republicans—the Gang of 14 redux—to allow Gorsuch to go forward while getting a GOP commitment not to get rid of the filibuster for the rest of Trump’s term:
By Burgess Everett
A group of Senate Democrats is beginning to explore trying to extract concessions from Republicans in return for allowing Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
The lawmakers worry that Gorsuch could be confirmed whether Democrats try to block him or not — and Democrats would be left with nothing to show for it. That would be a bitter pill after the GOP blocked Merrick Garland for nearly a year.
The deal Democrats would be most likely to pursue, the sources said, would be to allow confirmation of Gorsuch in exchange for a commitment from Republicans not to kill the filibuster for a subsequent vacancy during President Donald Trump’s term. The next high court opening could alter the balance of the court, and some Democrats privately argue that fight will be far more consequential than the current one.
If Democrats move ahead with the plan — it’s still in the early discussion phase — it would require buy-in from some Republicans, but not necessarily Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) or his top deputies. At least three rank-and-file GOP members would have to pledge not to vote to unilaterally change the Senate rules through a majority-only vote later in Trump’s term — the so-called nuclear option.
Memo to the Senate GOP caucus: Just. Say No. Let the Democrats twist in the gusts of hot wind from their crazy base.