Will Democrat Senators Follow Their Base Over the Cliff?

The Democrats’ riled-up base is demanding that the party’s senators do everything they can to block the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court:

Liberal groups that oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court are telling Democratic senators to oppose him, or face the consequences.

The groups on Thursday formed “The People’s Defense,” billed as a massive grassroots campaign to defeat Gorsuch’s nomination in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Only they can’t defeat his nomination.

The leaders of the efforts said in a telephone news conference that they expect Democrats to try to delay, or filibuster, Gorsuch’s nomination, even if doing so provokes Republicans to try to eliminate the filibuster for high court nominations.

What was it Yoda said? There is no “try.” If the Democrats filibuster Gorsuch, the Republicans will do away with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, as has already happened for the lower federal courts.

Maybe this is inevitable. Until recently, both parties voted to confirm qualified nominees. It is hard to believe now, but Justice Scalia was confirmed on a 98-0 vote, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg by 96-3. Those days are gone. But neither party will give its opponents a veto power over Supreme Court nominations, so the filibuster is probably doomed in any event.

Anna Galland of the activist group MoveOn.org said Democrats “need to catch up with the intensity we are seeing at the grass roots.”

Translation: the Democrats’ base is crazy, and they want to see craziness from their senators in Washington. My guess is they will get what they want.

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