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    First Gorsuch Supreme Court decision: McConnell v. Schumer

    First Gorsuch Supreme Court decision: McConnell v. Schumer

    Only one can win . . .

    Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appeared this morning on Meet the Press and announced that the Republicans are unlikely to reach the 60 votes needed to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.   Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-) later appeared on the same show and announced that Gorsuch would indeed be confirmed and that it would happen as early as this week.

    The NY Daily News reports:

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, likely won’t get the 60 Senate votes he needs for confirmation — even as the GOP ensured Gorsuch is a go.

    “It looks like Gorsuch will not reach the 60-vote margin,” Schumer told “Meet the Press” ahead of the Senate’s expected vote this week on the nomination.

    Gorsuch has faced stiff stonewalling by Senate Democrats who are opposed to some of his conservative views — and are still fuming from the GOP’s refusal to vote for Merrick Garland, the judge former President Obama tapped to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

    When pressed as to why he would not support Gorsuch, Schumer’s answer was quite revealing.  He didn’t mention any concerns about Gorsuch as a justice; instead, he waffled on about how he’s simply doing what the Republicans did to Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland.  So there!

    Schumer does so without noting, of course, that Obama’s nominee was put forth during a presidential election year, and that the timing of that matters.  There is simply no way the Democrats would have confirmed a Bush or Trump nominee during a presidential election year should the tables have been reversed.


    This tit for tat nonsense is unlikely to sway Americans to support the Democrats’ stonewalling.  “They did it first” is juvenile and petty, far beneath the dignity of the Senate.

    Schumer also had the temerity to suggest that the GOP drop Gorsuch so that the Democrats and GOP would be “even,” each not getting a Supreme nominee they wanted and look instead for what he called a “more middle-of-the-road” nominee.  It’s not easy to watch a grown man with such power and influence talk like a ten-year-old on the playground.

    Needless to say, McConnell does not take this proposal seriously and instead correctly notes that the American people voted for President Trump, not Hillary Clinton, to select the next Supreme Court Justice.

    When asked if he would actually invoke the nuclear option should the Democrats not vote for cloture, McConnell chuckled and said that Gorsuch will be confirmed this week and added that how that happens is up to the Democrats.


    With the current make-up of the Senate, the Republicans, who hold 52 Senate seats, would need eight Democrats to vote for cloture to move the Gorsuch nomination forward.

    The Washington Post explains:

    Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, may fall short of the votes needed for smooth passage in the Senate next week, potentially dashing Republican hopes for an easy victory after the stinging defeat of the American Health Care Act last week.

    Gorsuch needs 60 votes to clear a procedural hurdle required of high-court confirmations in the Senate, but Republicans, who hold just 52 seats, may not have the votes in a chamber that is divided deeply along partisan lines.

    Republicans do, however, have the votes to choose the “nuclear option” — to change the rules and allow Gorsuch’s confirmation — and others after it — to proceed on a simple majority vote. That would upend a long-standing Senate tradition that forces the governing party to seek bipartisan support.

    Thus far, three “at risk” Democrats have announced that they will support Gorsuch.  The latest of whom is Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN).

    CNN reports:

    Sen. Joe Donnelly announced Sunday that he will support the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

    “After meeting with Judge Gorsuch, conducting a thorough review of his record, and closely following his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe that he is a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers,” the Indiana Democrat said in a statement.

    Donnelly is the third Senate Democrat to support Gorsuch, joining Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

    . . . . In his statement, Donnelly added the Senate “should keep the current 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees.”


    Seven Democrat Senators (one on the list is an Indie who votes with the Democrats) have not yet said how they will vote.


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    rinardman | April 2, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Only one can win . . .

    I’m not so sure about that. They’re both accomplished losers.

    If it’s at all possible, they’ll figure out a way where they both lose.

    inspectorudy | April 2, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    The childish behavior of the people in DC makes me want to just drop out and never turn on the TV again. Now it the Dems but the Repubs have been just as bad on other issues. What happened to the “Wise” Senator profile? They are nothing but partisan hacks with no skills necessary to make our government work for the people. Any fool can see where this is heading and the Dems are making things very troublesome for themselves. obama had already appointed two marginal justices and to allow him to appoint a third, especially in an election year, was something that no one thought was a good idea but obama. This will come back to haunt both parties in the future but it seems that no one cares about the future anymore. They only worry about the next election.

      “…but it seems that no one cares about the future anymore. They only worry about the next election.”

      Yes, that is EXACTLY the point: from the GOPe perspective. Corrupt, useless sh-ts, almost all of them – barely a patriot in the bunch.

      But don’t underestimate how dearly the left cares about the ‘future’ – much like the Soviets and Maoists did.

    OldProf2 | April 3, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I live in a state with two Dem senators who follow Schumer like little puppy dogs. If they really cared about our state, they would negotiate with the Trump admin to get commitments for a few dozen new highways and bridges and major infrastructure repairs in our state in return for voting for Gorsuch. That’s the way things used to work.
    Instead, I suspect they will throw away their votes just to stay in the good graces of the other Dems. I wish they would place the benefits to their constituents above their Party.

      Arminius in reply to OldProf2. | April 3, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      OldProf2, you’ve just articulated the reason why we need to repeal the 17th Amendment. Before the 17th Amendment, which provided for the popular vote for Senators, Senators were elected by state legislatures.

      Your Senators would have been required to put your state’s interests ahead of Chuck Schumer’s and the DNC.

    Arminius | April 3, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Chuck Todd is very confused. The Biden rule is that no vacancies that arise in the middle of a Presidential campaign. And Chuck Todd seems to think we vote for a new President every two years.

    I don’t like McConnell much but I enjoyed watching him chuckle as the obviously partisan Todd was just losing his sh*t.

    If I had been McConnell I’d have kept yanking his chain until his head exploded. In October of last year when Reid thought Hillary Clinton would win, and perhaps there was a chance that the Dems would retain control of the Senate, he said this:

    “I really do believe that I have set the Senate so when I leave, we’re going to be able to get judges done with a majority. It takes only a simple majority anymore. And, it’s clear to me that if the Republicans try to filibuster another circuit court judge, but especially a Supreme Court justice, I’ve told ’em how and I’ve done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It’ll have to be done again,” Reid told TPM in a wide-ranging interview about his time in the Senate and his legacy.

    “They mess with the Supreme Court, it’ll be changed just like that in my opinion,” Reid said, snapping his fingers together. “So I’ve set that up. I feel very comfortable with that.”

    So when Chuck Todd asked McConnell if he now thought that Reid made the right decision I’d have said, “No, he made a terrible decision. But you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. He changed the Senate rules, and once you do that it can’t be undone. Moreover he bragged that the Democrats have done it once, and they would do it again if the Republicans remained in the minority and tried to filibuster any of Hillary Clinton’s SCOTUS nominees. And if the situation were reversed, Chuck, you wouldn’t be talking about ‘slippery slopes’ with Majority Leader Schumer. YOu’d be talking about how obstructionist Republicans are only getting what they deserve. Because, face it Chuck, just like your fellow partisans in the Senate you think that win or lose the Democrats get to choose Supreme Court justices. And what’s clearly upsetting you is that Republicans are acting exactly like the Democrats said they would in order to put their President’s choices on the bench. To partisans like you that’s upsetting the natural order of things.”

    Then I would have chuckled some more.

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