The question is not whether Judge Neil Gorsuch is going to become a Justice of the Supreme Court. The question is how much it will cost politically. The variable there is the political acumen of the senate democrats. Place your bets accordingly.
This is an opinion piece so it will not have the voluminous research links at the bottom. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
Neil Gorsuch is going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Sorry, liberals. It is inevitable. We know – they stole the vacancy from President Obama, who was prepared to nominate the least liberal judge a Democrat could possible put up without whispers of bribery. The confirmation of Merrick Garland would have been, from a Moderate’s perspective, a boon to the overall direction of our republic.
But the Republicans were able to drag their feet until Obama termed out, and now consider Trump’s nominee. And they’re going to get away with it. Here’s why:
- The Republicans felt no repercussions at the polls for brazenly refusing to give Garland a hearing. In fact, many saw benefits on election day.
- The Democrats, despite all their current proclamations, are likely to fold and do the adult thing in the end – as they typically do.
- In replacing the deceased Justice Scalia with an equally arch-conservative justice, the republic essentially breaks even.
From the Moderate perspective, we would prefer a Supreme Court with a pair of moon-eyed liberals and a pair of scorched earth conservatives, and five justices floating around somewhere in the middle. You want some extremists because they catch things the moderates never considered – you just don’t want them in charge. Garland would have gotten us pretty close to that point. But now we are back to 3-3-3.
MOON-EYED LIBERALS: Ginsberg, Kagan, Sotomayor
SCORCHED EARTH CONSERVATIVES: Alito, Thomas, (Garland)
RELATIVELY MODERATE: Breyer (middle left), Kennedy (center right), Roberts (middle right).
So the fate of our republic remains effectively in Justice Kennedy’s hands. We have broken even.
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer’s job, now, is to find a way to get something for doing the adult thing in the end, other than the thankless beating at the polls the Democrats have been rewarded in the past for raising the debt ceiling and the like. We know he has not solicited our advice, but we’re going to give it, because we have a blog.
Get an independent counsel to investigate Russia. In return, you’ll magically arrange for the filibuster to fall apart after a reasonable tantrum moment. (He owes his base at least a tantrum).
This way the Republicans don’t have to blow up the filibuster in advance of possibly losing their majority in 2018. Also, an independent counsel spares them from having to spend time listening to Trump administration officials dissemble in their committees, or worse, having to defend that nonsense in front of their own microphones.
And it provides a level of kharmic balance after stealing the seat, which they totally did.
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