Boots & Sabers

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2012, 06 Apr 17

Senate Changes Rules for Gorsuch

Excellent. Honestly, I didn’t think the national Republicans had the stones.

Washington (CNN)The Senate Thursday triggered the so-called “nuclear option” that allowed Republicans to break a Democratic filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

The chamber is now expected to vote to confirm Gorsuch Friday around 11:30 a.m. ET.
The controversial changes to Senate rules, made along partisan lines, allows filibusters of Supreme Court picks to be broken with only 51 votes rather than 60.

The filibuster was an extra-constitutional grant of power to the minority in the Senate. It appears nowhere in the Constitution and certainly is not necessary for Supreme Court confirmations. Here is the relevant part of Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution:

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Remember how we got here… The Democrats did away with the filibuster for other court appointments when Republicans were filibustering Obama’s lower court picks. This time, for the first time in history, the Democrats filibustered a SCOTUS pick, so the Republicans “pulled a Reid” and changed the rules.

Good for them. Gorsuch is undeniably qualified and if the Democrats were going to filibuster him, would they support any nominee? Ever? Of course not. And we all know that the Democrats would have done the exact same thing if they were on the other side of the fence. We know this because they already did it.

I look forward to Justice Gorsuch’s tenure.


2012, 06 April 2017

1 Comment

  1. CaptainNed

    The key is Article I, Section 5, Clause 2:

    Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.

    The filibuster and the associated cloture rules WERE Constitutional, because they were Rules as envisioned by this clause.  Ergo, changing the Rules is equally Constitutional.

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