Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) just cast the fifty-first vote for the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, ending a contentious political fight between the left and the right over the future of the Supreme Court that began with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.
The NRA went all-in on this fight, working behind the scenes to ensure that President Obama’s anti-gun nominee, Merrick Garland, was not confirmed, and then endorsing President Trump’s nomination of Judge Gorsuch earlier this year. This can only be seen as a big win for the nation’s oldest civil rights organization and, one hopes, the right to keep and bear arms, generally.
Yesterday, the Senate cleared the way for the approval by amending its rules to eliminate the use of the judicial filibuster on Supreme Court nominations. My own take on Gorsuch’s philosophy and past history as a jurist can be found here and here. The final vote count was 54 ayes, 45 nays.
Sweet. Now appoint 10 more judges.
The foolishness and stupity of NeverTrumpers (post nomination) is on brilliant display with this confirmation.
No more judges. FDR did that and ruined the supreme court. I, for one, think that Gorsuch would not support congressional trickery in order for his appointment to stand. Let’s hope and pray he doesn’t use the court for political advantage and stays the judge that he has been all along. Politicalization of the Supreme Court has done a lot of damage, making policy from the bench is a misuse of thier powers.
Congressional trickery? Please tell me that’s not a reference to ending the filibuster rules that have only been in place since 2003. Rules which were put in place by Harry Reid to force concessions from Republicans in exchange for cooperation on Bush Jr. appointees.
Cause the end of rules not even old enough to drive that were only created to cause obstruction isn’t “trickery”.
No he is referring to FDR and his friendly congress packing the court.
The Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 never was passed, so accusations that FDR *did* pack the court are false. He certainly attempted to change the makeup of the court to get more New Deal proposals that had previously been ruled unconstitutional passed, but that particular push was unsuccessful.
Warren, you are correct that it didn’t pass, but from my understanding (via Mark Levin’s excellent Men in Black book), just the threat of that was enough to force several “unfriendly” justices to resign and for Franky the Traitor to get his unconstitutional, un-American goals pushed through anyway.
Guard, it’s a little more involved than that. There was a whole slew of retirements (justices swinging both ways) and several deaths that essentially created an entirely new court by the time FDR left office. It might have created a SCOTUS that was more friendly to his legislation, but it cost him ENORMOUS political capitol. I fear we’re going to be seeing a longer, more drawn out modern version of that over the next few years, as a continuance of the political/partisan battle that’s been going on since the mid-90s with Gingrich’s Contract With America.
Thanks for the clarification, Warren. I’ll have to read up on it a little bit more. Men in Black has really revealed to me the horrible truth of what the Supreme Court in particular and the Judiciary in general has been doing to our Republic the last 100+ years. I listened to the book on Audible, but I think I’m going to buy a physical copy (or at least Kindle) for reference and so I can take another look at certain sections of particular interest.
Any other recommendations for good books or sources about this kind of thing?
It’s funny, the nightly news is treating this “nuclear option” as something that the Republicans did. They make it sound like the rules that were changed were in place from the beginning of time.
They go on to lament that this will change everything forever.
It MIGHT never change back. But since we survived for over 200 years before the rule was put in place, I doubt pretty highly that the Senate or the top Court will disintegrate into the fine radioactive mist that the MSM claims “nuclear” option will force
I will say I thought about this, and then I realized that the Democrats having respect for the rules of Congress after that whole “gun control sit in” was utter garbage unless they were using them as a club too. Fair play. That said it will be used against the Republicans at a point in the future.
FDR *attempted* to pack the court, with the Judicial Procedures Reform Act of 1937. The death of Senate Majority leader Joseph Robinson of Arkansas pretty much killed the possibility of FDR ensuring its’ passage. Wikipedia can tell you all about it, if you want.
SCOTUS has now been patched, but it is still defective and needs at least one or two more originalists to keep it running properly for the next two decades. We really need good quality judges appointed to the rest of the vacancies on the federal bench as well.
People don’t realize how many open seats there are on lower courts. Trump will be able to nominate a huge number of judges and with the current age of judges, more openings will come.
Great article, thanks. I mean, “great” in the sense that it’s informative. It’s the NY Times, after all.
Here’s my favorite paragraph:
“Conservatives are itching to counter eight years of Mr. Obama’s appointments. During his two terms and despite Senate sluggishness, he appointed about 40 percent of the federal judiciary. The pace of female and minority appointments to the federal bench continued to increase, enough so that as of February of last year, white men no longer represented a majority of active federal judges.”
No mention of whether his appointees are GOOD. Just that they have vaginas and/or dark skin. Because, y’know, that’s what REALLY matters.
“Some women don’t have vaginas, you trans-phobe!”
I wish I were kidding, but yes I have seen that in writing.
Me too, bro. This is the kind of crap that makes me think that Civil War 2.0 might be necessary…
Now if Ginsberg were to be replaced, we’d be getting somewhere.
Sharp as a tack!!! 😛
+ eleventy billion!!!
Disagree. Breyer is the one pushing the “living constitution” philosophy. Far more cancerous than Ginsburg, who is really just a run-of-the-mill leftie. Breyer really believes in this stuff, and he almost always finds a way to expand federal government power when he can.
I’ve heard rumors that Justice Kennedy is contemplating retirement. He is squishy on gun rights and there’s a lot of cases that neither side wants the Top Court to hear because they don’t know where he’ll land. But Kennedy is a big fan of Gorsuch and is reportedly thinking that if Trump would continue to nominate similar justices that he’s thinking of letting now be the time he gets out. Also, if we give Trump a 2nd term, odds are good that Justice Ginsburg would not make it to the next president
Yessir! What I just read is that Don Trump Jr. is friends with Justin Kennedy (Anthony Kennedy’s son). And that SC Justice Kennedy has been communicating with the president about his impending retirement through their two sons.
Ginsberg needs to die ASAP. Too bad she looks like she is going to be one of those people that live to be 120 and work till the day she dies.
“Too bad she looks like she is going to be one of those people that live to be 120 and work till the day she dies”
What? She looks like she died 10 years ago. She looks horrible and she’s also had cancer once or twice and other diseases. She’s 84, I don’t think she makes 2020 and definitely won’t make 2024
I would not count Ginsburg out too soon. From my comment about her yesterday:
Furthermore, she could have retired a few years ago under Obama when Democrats had a majority in the Senate (knowing that a Democrat controlled Senate and Presidency would install a far left Progressive to replace her). But old diehard Ginsburg stayed on the bench. I don’t see her voluntarily leaving the U.S. Supreme Court until she is at death’s door, and right now isn’t it.
Why would she retire? This is where she gets most of her sleep.
Speaking of sleep, maybe somebody could help her out. With like, a pillow or something.
I think a lot of the stuff about Ginsburg’s “healthy regimen” is literally whistling past the graveyard. She’s old, she’s had cancer twice, and the workload on the Supreme Court is punishing. Notwithstanding all that she purportedly does to stay fit, none of the court watchers I know (former Supreme Court clerks who regularly have cases there, as opposed to MSM journalists who truly don’t want to imagine her passing on) believe RGB will make it to the end of PDT’s first term.
Further, if Kennedy retires soon — and I’m hearing rumors from knowledgeable people that he’s seriously considering doing so this summer — that would likely result in a solid 5-judge originalist majority, with four of the members likely to be on the court for another generation. Faced with watching many of her pet decisions sent to the dustbin of history on a weekly basis, I can imagine that accelerating her leaving the court.
At any event, while I am not exactly the biggest fan of the Senate majority leader, there is no doubt that this time he came through. He held the GOP caucus (including RINO’s like Graham, McCain, and Collins) together to both block Obama from appointing a replacement and make Schumer live by the Reid Rule. Take a bow, Mitch . . . .
Maybe it exists, but a quick Google search failed to turn up a Vegas betting pool for her retirement and/or passing.
Honestly, I’m a little surprised.
You have to look to the old sod for the, lad. Irish bookies.
“Bovada is taking bets on the next Supreme Court justice to leave the high court. The co-favorites? Eighty-year-old Anthony Kennedy or 84-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at 3-to-2 odds. Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan and Chief Justice John Roberts would pay 50-to-1 if either was the next to leave the court.”
People are focused on Ginsburg, but Breyer leaving would have the same effect, and he’s not that much younger at 78. Even replacing Kennedy would have an impact, because while he’s not a “liberal”, he’s a swing vote. With an originalist in his place, it’s a consistent 5-4 in the conservative direction.
Kennedy is also 80 years old, so we could conceivably see him retire or croak in the next 4 years. But yeah, if Ginsberg falls down some stairs or Breyer has a heart attack or retires, we could be good to go for a generation.
The circuit courts need attention now. The Supreme Court hears very few cases. We need the lower courts filled with jurists that are not activists.
Apparently there are a crap-ton of lower court judge seats open, so we might have some good news on that within the next year as well.
Congress really needs to disband the 9th Circuit, and impeach both these lawless judges blocking the President’s immigration pause EOs.
Yay! Yes if the evil hag dies maybe we can get a decent court. This is a great start(I hope!). You really never know what power will do…
Good, now time for Senate and House to work on HPA and partial NFA repeals.
This definitely will not come back to bite the Republicans on the ass. For sure.
Are you really so naive to believe that the Dems wouldn’t have done the exact same things had the roles been reversed? The only reason Dirty Harry and Chuck the Schmuck didn’t go all the way to SCOTUS noms when they last changed the rules was because they didn’t HAVE to yet, and it made them appear more reasonable.
Chuck the Schmuck actually promised to do exactly what McConnell did. Of course that promise was made with the assumption that he would be Majority Leader and Hillary would be in the White House.
That’s just you regurgitating so-called conventional wisdom so as to have something to say. Look at the facts.
Every leftist on the court today was confirmed with a super majority with Republican votes. Republicans defer to the president even when the nominee is a communist.
On the other side, Thomas, Alito, and noe Gorsuch were all confirmed with just simple majority votes. Democrats obstruct and ignore election results and the Constitution even when the nominee is a superb jurist.
Soooo…..what do you really think will change going forward? The votes, as a practical matter, already are what they are and already reflect what everyone’s ignorantly calling a new era.
Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. In 2013 Senator Harry Reid changed the rules and made the 51 vote rule ok for whatever Obama wanted. It seems two can play at this game. Even senator Mitch McConnell warned Reid at the time that some day the republicans would be in charge. And now they are.
The vote was 54-45. Who didn’t vote?
Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia. He was having surgery. Apparently they had Pence in the chamber just in case something went awry and he needed to break a tie.
One more at least to go and we can start bringing on the 2A strengthening. I know, it doesn’t work like that, but a fella can dream.
Make the next one a good gun-totin’ Jeffersonian. Too many “originalists” love big government and treading on rights so long as it’s on “their side”; Jeffersonians support individual rights regardless.
Lets have congress re-organize the ninth circuit.