The Associated Press wants us to think that momentum is growing behind an anti-Gorsuch confirmation movement. It headlines: “Dem opposition to Trump court pick grows; Schumer warns GOP.”
Senate Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee swelled Friday as Democrats neared the numbers needed for a filibuster, setting up a showdown with Republicans who have the votes to confirm Neil Gorsuch.
Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Brian Schatz of Hawaii became the latest Democratic senators to announce their opposition to Gorsuch, a 49-year-old federal appeals court judge in Denver whose conservative rulings make him an intellectual heir to the justice he would replace, the late Antonin Scalia.
The fact that Democratic Senators are falling in behind their party’s line is hardly news. Howard Dean bluntly explained why the Democrats will filibuster Neil Gorsuch:
I expect two or three or four Democrats to vote for Judge Gorsuch. That is what their constituency wants. I can tell you right now if Judge Gorsuch, if he’s confirmed by Democrats — that is unless we force McConnell to exercise the nuclear option — if he’s confirmed straight up with 60 votes, 10 of which are Democratic, the Democratic Senatorial committee might as well hang it up ’cause they’ll never raise any money from our base.
Thanks, Howard, for making clear why the Democrats are engaging in this exercise in futility. Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer “warns” the GOP:
Changing Senate rules would not be unprecedented. In 2013, Democrats were in the majority and upset about appellate court nominees getting blocked. They pushed through a rules change lowering the vote threshold on all nominees except for the Supreme Court from 60 to a simple majority.
Schumer warned against the rules change in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, arguing that Republicans would be the ones to blame if it does occur.
“Senate Republicans are acting like if Gorsuch doesn’t get 60 votes they have no choice but to change the rules,” Schumer said. “That is bunk.”
No, actually, it is reality. Neil Gorsuch is a non-controversial nominee. As Senator Charles Grassley said, “If you’d filibuster Judge Gorsuch, it’s obvious you’d filibuster anybody.” So the Republicans have no choice but to proceed with the Harry Reid option and confirm Gorsuch, and any future Trump nominees, on a majority vote.
But at least Democratic senators will be able to tell their constituents that they are Resisting.