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If Senate Democrats attempt to block Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will amend Senate rules to deny use of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. Appearing on Fox News’ The First 100 Days, the Kentucky Senator declared that the GOP would/will be simply leveling-out a policy established by Democrats.

For 230 years, up or down, simple majority for Supreme Court, Cabinet, everything until [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer invented it, so it’s a fairly recent thing to filibuster executive branch appointments, The Democrats got frustrated after they invented this and broke the rules of the senate…four years ago to lower the threshold for everything except the Supreme Court. All we’ll do faced with this filibuster is even that up, so the Supreme Court confirmation process is dealt with just like it was throughout the history of the country….

We’re going to confirm Gorsuch on Friday. How that occurs depends on our Democrat friends…. There are no good arguments to vote against Gorsuch. None whatsoever.

There has only been one instance where a filibuster blocked a Supreme Court nominee: in 1968, when Abe Fortas’ nomination to be Chief Justice was filibustered. (Fortas was already an Associate Justice on the Court. In contrast to the partisanship of today, the nomination was blocked by members of President Lyndon Johnson’s own Democratic party who, even more oddly, did it over what sounded like legitimate concerns about the Justice.)

Given that every gun rights organization from the NRA to GOA has expressed support for him, this is probably good for the right to keep and bear arms in the long-run (though, as a cautionary reminder, in the best case, all this does is keep the Heller majority at its precarious 5-4 margin, and one never really knows how things will go until a live case is decided.)

For all the moaning Democrats are doing about Merrick Garland’s “stolen” Supreme Court seat (as though the Supreme Court was beholden to a political party, and not the people,) and for all of the silly claims being made about Gorsuch, the Democrats knew what would happen if they filibustered, and chose to do it anyway.

The fact that they’re doing it on a nominee that is almost universally hailed as likely to be a solid justice (even the increasingly leftist American Bar Association called him “well qualified”) makes me ask: did they want this to happen anyway?

Judging from Harry Reid’s parting comments to the left-wing Talking Points Memo last year (when he no doubt assumed President Hillary would be making Supreme Court appointments in 2017,) yes they did.

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.”

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) echoed those sentiments during his failed campaign for Vice President last year.

This smells like a confluence of interests from both the GOP and the Democrats. Neither of them really want the filibuster to stay. As far as executive branch appointments go, this is tool that has outlived its usefulness. The President is supposed to have broad discretion to appoint various people to various offices, and the idea that 60, not 50, members of the Senate are needed to ‘advise and consent’ seems a bit much.

Congress retains the power to impeach members of the Judiciary and Cabinet Secretaries in the event of truly egregious conduct. Elections, as some wit observed, do have consequences. If it seems as though the judgment of the President plus 50 votes in the Senate is insufficient for a lifetime appointment, perhaps that’s a sign that the lifetime appointments ought to be reconsidered.

It’s also worth noting that Merrick Garland’s appointment was blocked without use of the filibuster at all.

That said, let’s hope that this little nuclear exchange is contained to appointments. Let us not forget that the filibuster has saved the Second Amendment from infringement by legislation that even the post-Heller Court would probably have upheld as constitutional, such as the unfortunate effort by Senators Manchin and Toomey to effectively abolish private transfers of firearms in 2013, which had a majority of Senators supporting it, just not enough to end a filibuster.

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  1. If McConnell does “nuke ’em,” he will only do so in the figurative sense. Unfortunately, Washington deserves to be nuked for real.

  2. Mitch: it ever occur to you WHY the Dems didn’t invoke the Nuclear option? I get that our voter-base is, by-and-large, less educated than that of the left (not making any value judgement here) and might not be as horrified by it as theirs might be, but it is a bad idea that will impact votes for decades to come.

    They will fold on Gorsuch, just give them a chance to run out of breath.

    (And, of course, threaten the Nuke option, like they did, but by no means should you actually implement it).

    • If you think getting into a Mexican standoff with the party of Jim Crow is a good idea, you’re delusional. They will pull this garbage for every future nominee. It’s time to put a stop to it once and for all. The Senate has more important issues to deal with than a DNC temper tantrum. In the next eight years, there will be two or three more SCotUS seats open. We need to hammer our nominees home.

      • Exactly. If the Democrats filibuster Gorsuch, they would filibuster any nominee, so there is no use in treating Democrats civilly and pretending that they care about the republic.

        • Gents, the whole point is that if the Republican ‘go nuclear’, they’re essentially changing the senate rules & prohibit the future filibuster of SCOTUS nominees. So once they ‘go nuclear’, there will be no future filibuster.

          This demonstrates how stupid & childish democrats really are. They’re going to permanently damage the historic balance of power (not to mention themselves) just to show their leftist overlords their desire to “resist”.

          Democrats are idiots. They’re Jim Crow. They’re slavery. They’re secession. They’re hatred, envy, poverty and death. They always have been. And they probably always will be.

    • Considering that Executive and Judicial appointments were by majority vote for most of American history, there’s no reason to mourn the loss of the filibuster in these cases. The Democrats are already invoking it as we write on this blog (see the stories about the windbag who spoke for 13 hours), so they made a bed they’ll have to sleep in for at least 4 years. This is sufficient time for the President to appoint perhaps 3 more justices. They should have held off until a truly liberal seat was in play.

      • There is more to it than the filibuster. Dems are refusing to confirm a completely qualified candidate because a Republican nominated him, period. If any of them had a brain, they would see a completely different precedent, in that when the day comes that we have a Dem president and a Repub Senate, he will get *NO* justices confirmed, unless he allows the senate to dictate the nominee, he will be out of the SCOTUS business completely. Then when we have a Repub president and Dem Senate, same thing. Give it a couple decades like that, and SCOTUS will be 8, then 7, then 6, then 5 justices.

        • In the current civil war (and it is not civil), the Demoncrats want to utterly destroy any political opposition; one-part rule. The Repubs still look at politics as if it were 1950, and just want to be in the game.

    • If you think the dem voters are smarter than GOP voters, you haven’t met enough dem voters. They are an amazingly stupid group of people.

      • Underestimating the Demoncrats is a recipe for future harm. Schumer is not stupid neither was Reid. Demoncrats believe history shows they will be in power more often than any other party. Thus, it is strategically important for them to have the Repubs amend the senate rules to achieve what Reid knowingly set in motion. Such work by Repubs gives two wins to the Dems: unblockable appointments and legislation when Dems are in power; a fine club with which to vilify further the Republicans.

        Once the Repubs do the dirty work for the Dems, Dems will have no impediment to future judicial appointments. In addition, nuking the filibuster for SC sets the table for eliminating filibuster for every legislative act (if SC nominees need only simple majority, what, then, is the justification for allowing filibuster of anything?). Not saying simple majority shouldn’t be the permanent rule (nothing is permanent in senate rules), or the “regular order” of things, but we should understand the landscape.

        Oh….if the Rebups refuse to eliminate the filibuster as a means of preventing the Dems from doing that, then we need to replace every Repub in Congress. “Leading by example” requires an audience willing to be led.

        • “Dems will have no impediment to future judicial appointments.”

          Only if they control the Senate! And I am ready to see the complete and absolute death of the filibuster, everywhere, the concept is un-American and the Dems have abused it forever.

        • “Dems will have no impediment to future judicial appointments.”

          “Only if they control the Senate!”

          Which they will. Repubs do not think in terms of a permanent majority, but Dems do. The Senate will one day revert to Demoncrat control; inevitable.

        • Alright Sam, it looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you then.

          If democrats are eventually and inevitably going to get both houses of congress back and the presidency too with their “permanent majority” you speak of, and will force any number of appointments by changing filibuster rules, then you have 3 choices.

          1. Complain, maybe donate a little money here and there, but generally do nothing else.
          2. Leave the US
          3. Fight, kill, risk death and all worldly wealth, for what you believe is right.

          #1 is what our parents/grandparents did, and quite frankly they deserve to suffer for all the excesses and lying they tolerated. Life isn’t fair though, and they won’t suffer, unless by coincidence social security comes into question. You can guess where my vote, my money, and my bullets will be on that score.

          Reading this kind of stuff gives me chills. The supreme spiritual leader of the modern democrat party was an admirer of (arguably) the most prolific mass murderer of all time, and architect of the system that resulted in more misery and death than the slave trade inflicted in three whole centuries. FDR was wet for “Uncle Joe” and his miserable system of tyranny and arbitrary state-sponsored genocide. Our recent ancestors voted for this prick 3 times. My Great-Grandma senile as she is, still has a positive opinion of that asshole.

          #2 is what many people will do, but the wisdom of fleeing elsewhere is doubtful. Unless you plan to die before the consequences fully go around the globe, the US is where the war against global tyranny will be fought, and where the future of civilization remains. Remember, socialism never lasts long when there is somewhere left to run. I think after the Cold War, the brains behind statism figured out that NATO and the UN were the best means to eliminate all places of refuge for those who want to live free. It’s the classic “Build the super-weapon to protect yourselves, then the original threat disappears it gets used against you” plot.

          #3 This would be my choice, but it will not be without risk. Act, plan, and spend accordingly. The good news is that with state legislatures and governors in control, it might not be a suicide mission.

        • My point is that the filibuster could not be maintained forever due to an “example” of dignity being set by Repubs. Nothing the Repubs do will convince Demoncrats to not act in a way that benefits Demoncrats. The filibuster for SC nominees would have been eliminated by Demoncrats as soon as they had a 51 seat (50 with a Dem VP) senate majority. Repubs should not be concerned with breaking so-called “precedence” by eliminating the filibuster for SC. This is political war. Demoncrats see single-party (them) rule as the desired and morally superior outcome. We are no longer living in the 1950s. Dems want the Republican party destroyed, eliminated, gone from the political world. Repubs seem unable to understand the Demoncrats mean what they say.

          The notion that Dems will not be in power again, accompanied by a notion that Repubs represent enough votes to stay in power forever (or at least as long as Dems have since 1932) is not viable. Conservatives (the Republican Party is not The Conservative party) are short range thinkers. (fix a problem, then go back to whatever was interrupted by the problem, waiting for the next problem). The Dems are the party of “the long march”. Demographics have not yet set Demoncrat power in concrete, but it will eventually. Repubs (and Conservatives) will accept defeat, and move on to something else. Dems now double down constantly. Why do you think there is so much energy in Dems not accepting the results of the 2016 election. Dems will burn down the entire structure, if necessary. Repubs will exhaust themselves containing the element of the party that represents the overall will of the Repub voters. Dems wage war on Repubs. Repubs wage war on the constituency that keeps them in power.

          As to what we should do….Reagan said it all; there is nowhere to run. The inevitable outcome is a mater of time, not outcome. Demoncrats want to destroy the nation of the Founders as soon as possible. Repubs want to delay the destruction as long as possible. Quick death of the Republic, or slow death. Both major parties agree about the end game.

          Since there is no hiding, regard action is the only thing remaining. Support opposition to Demoncrats until the end of the Republic, and hope the Dems don’t get around to killing the losers.

          My grandparents were old-line Democrats; taught me something important. They simply declared, “In the long run, Santa Claus will always be more popular than John Calvin. The Democrat Party is Santa Claus.” They correctly analyzed the basic nature of humanity. I joined the opposition because, well….my grandparents were very old, and what did they know? I know they were right, I just hate the idea.

          As to waging war against tyranny? Not going to happen in any meaningful measure. The Founders would be horrified that the nation yawned at Waco and Ruby Ridge, and again at Cliven 1. We are far beyond the fuses that led to the Revolution and Civil War (Revolution 2). The latter incidents were made possible because the standing armies of the day were not as competent and ubiquitous as today. The firepower of either side was very similar. Communications and supply lines were rudimentary, leading to similar difficulties on either side. Today, the government is superior in all the necessities for snuffing a rebellion in a matter of days, or weeks (Cliven 2 was a nuisance, not a challenge to government power).

          In my years in the military, I understood that the mission was to protect and defend the nation, even while the nation was busy destroying itself. Stand to the wall, even if defeat is forgone. Spartans, if you will.

      • I didn’t say anything about smart vs. stupid. I merely talked about education, with no causation implied either way.

        Dems have the vast majority of Masters degrees, professional degrees, and Ph.D’s.They’re the vast majority of teachers and professors.

        There are thousands of Dem lawyers and pundits waiting for the Reps to implement the nuke option and just annihilate them over the tyranny of the majority and similar. You saw the shitstorm it caused when Donny didn’t give the first question to that one journalist… imagine that (throwing away age-old traditions) multiplied 1000fold because it actually has an impact on checks and balances.

        Like I said, there’s a reason that the D’s continually threatened it but never actually went through with it. It’s political suicide for the party that pushes the button.

        BTW: I’ve never voted for a Dem in a state or national election in my life, so don’t accuse me of being the enemy.

    • Hey jackass, *democrats* are forcing this. Not the republican “rubes” you disdain. YOUR democrats. The ones YOU vote for.

      • Amen. The current situation was precipitated by Reid using the Nuke option, and the Dem insistence on blocking an obviously well qualified candidate. Thats on Dems for both counts. Taking a “principled” approach doesnt prevent a future Dem senate from invoking the Nuke option anyway. Its akin to combing Tinder for a date with the intention of never having sex.

    • 1) they did invoke the ‘nuclear option’ when they needed to push through Obama nominees below SCOTUS
      2) they WOULD have absolutely invoked the nuclear option if they needed it to push through a SCOTUS nominee, but there was no need as the republicans did not filibuster them
      2.5) The Garland blocking was not a filibuster. The democrats didn’t have the votes, period, so no need for filibuster.

      The democrats are all too happy to throw ‘the rules’ out the window when it suites them and to whine about it when it doesn’t. I like the idea of the filibuster but it is no longer used the way it should have been- there is no cost to it. If there’s no cost to it, it needs to go.

  3. No, we should not invoke the “nuclear” option. Rather, we should withdraw Gorsuch and submit a left wing justice so Democrats will vote him/her.
    Kidding, of course we should go nuclear!

  4. As to the Fortas filibuster, the post notes that “[i]n contrast to the partisanship of today, the nomination was blocked by members of President Lyndon Johnson’s own Democratic Party. This correct but does not tell the whole story.

    The Senate voted 45 to 43 to invoke cloture to end the Fortas debate, which was barely a majority and insufficient under Senate rules.

    Ten Republicans and 35 Democrats voted for cloture (in favor of Fortas), while 24 Republicans and 19 Democrats voted against cloture and thus against the Fortas nomination.

    The 19 Democrats were mostly so-called “Dixiecrats,” who were disaffected Southern Democrats at odds with Lyndon Johnson’s so-called Great Society.

    The Dixiecrats are long gone now, replaced by Republicans.

    Fortas’ naughty ethics violations related to accepting a total of $15,000 in speaking fees for seven speeches. It was laughable.

    And now you know the rest of the story.

    • No Fortas’s ethical issue went well beyond that.

      And Fortas was blocked by Dem’s and GOP because he was a lyndon johnson crony. Fortas had a relationship with LBJ for decades and the Senators didn’t like a rubber stamp being put on the court.

      • This. There were some very unusual links between the Justice, who was supposed to be impartial, and the executive branch.

  5. This is ridiculous. There is no need to get rid of the filibuster to confirm Gorsuch or get any other single piece of legislation through. It actually is needed to get through the mountain of appointments any president has if either the president or opposition party is being ridiculous.

    As far as I can tell, there is no rule against omnibus bills. If you want to get your agenda passed, put everything the Republicans can agree on in one bill and let the Democrats filibuster it. After the each Senator speaks twice, at a rate of two a day, you pass your bill. Then do each issue that you can’t fit in there and let them stand or fall on their own.

    Would it be hard to get an omnibus bill with that level of support? Yes, but I don’t object to the government being unable to pass new laws.

  6. If POS McConnell, from POS KY, wants to do it then . . . uh oh. He’s a RINO on his best day, and he hasn’t seen his best days in 16 years. McConnell, and the KY ftards that keep sh_tting him on us are a HUGE part of what’ wrong with D.C.

    If we could replace McConnell and Schumer, there’d be 1000 years of ‘peace’. Or, we could just have at.

  7. I’m in DC, on the hill most of this week. If anyone wants to nuke this place, do it now so I don’t have to spend another day in this God forsaken sh!thole.

  8. Gorsuch only patches the hole. We really need to replace that senile old Ginsburg and perhaps Breyer or Kennedy before I will feel like the Constitution has been protected from the “living document” pretend it means what we want it to mean crowd. These idiots would have us all debating the meaning of “is” if they had their way.

    • I’m going to celebrate when RBG is off the bench. I don’t care how. I’m fricken celebrating her demise.

    • Didn’t Ginsberg threaten/promise to move to New Zealand if Donald Trump was elected? The hag should keep her word!

    • Yup, and once the idiot dems force the ‘nuclear option’, they’ll lose the ability to filibuster future nominees. All we need is Ginsturd to stroke-out, and we’ll own the court.

      Thanks, Chuck Schumer!

  9. May as well. We’re at the point now where anyone would be filibustered simply for the sake of partisanship.
    If Trump nominated Garland the D’s would be filibustering just because he would be an R nominee.

    I only wish they’d stop wasting time during interviews when asked “why don’t you support ….” and just answer honestly: “I don’t support ______ because I’m an x= (R) or (D) and this nomination was made by -x.”
    No more of these 20 minute nonsensical rants playing phony attribution to concern of constituents or highlighting meaningless moments taken out of context over a persons lifetime.

    I’m an X and you’re a Y so I oppose you and you oppose me. Dumb tribal shit that can’t spark a shooting war soon enough.

    • Can I just point out — it’s not actually “partisanship” at play. It’s Anti-Trumpianship. The Democrats are not protesting the Republicans. They are protesting Trump. They are resisting Trump. They ***hate*** all things Trump. Even Ivanka, who could probably get elected in 2024 if she wanted, is despised and vilified and crucified by the left — because she is a Trump. Even Melania, an intelligent First Lady who speaks five languages, is viciously savaged and mocked. Because she is a Trump.

      Would we have a partly functional two-party system if, say, Kasich had got in? Maybe. But the D’s are soooo embittered by the Trump, that they are willing to burn our two-party system to the ground for the “moral victory” of being able to say they opposed Trump, they “resisted.”

      • It surely is partisanship — the same thing all the leftist Democrat weasels already say and do, dialed up to 11 because Trump.

  10. The thing is if Clinton got elected and republicans kept control of the senate as they do now republicans could have filibustered Clinton’s nominee and democrats wouldn’t have enough votes in the senate to go “nuclear.” So in theory Clinton could have been a major lame duck. Reid from NV would have left the Dems nothing.

    • Keeping the Senate there would have been no need to filibuster. They could refuse to have hearings or they could simply vote any Democrat appointment down by fifty one votes additionally the math is against them in the 2018 midterm elections.

  11. Sen. Scummer demands that President Trump nominate a “mainstream” candidate for the Supreme Court. I suppose he considers himself a mainstream senator. Not! He and his ilk are squarely in what I call the “yellow stream.” And the best thing you can do with them is to flush them down the toilet. Just another example of draining the swamp…

  12. I live in Colorado. Our Republican senator, Cory Gardner, supports Gorsuch.

    I wrote Sen. Bennet, the Democrat, requesting he support the Gorsuch nomination. I received the following non-response, in which he indicates that he is opposed to both the filibuster and the “nuclear option”.

    “Thank you for contacting me regarding the current vacancy on the Supreme Court. I appreciate hearing from you.

    On January 31, 2017, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch is a Denver-based judge and has served on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006.

    I share many of the concerns voiced about Judge Gorsuch’s judicial record, but I will oppose efforts to filibuster his nomination. Using the filibuster and nuclear option at this moment take us in the wrong direction. Changing the Senate rules now will only further politicize the Supreme Court and prevent the Senate from blocking more extreme judges in the future.

    I take seriously the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to thoroughly vet Judge Gorsuch. As the confirmation process moves forward, I will keep your thoughts and concerns in mind.

    I value the input of fellow Coloradans in considering the wide variety of important issues and legislative initiatives that come before the Senate. I hope you will continue to inform me of your thoughts and concerns.

    For more information about my priorities as a U.S. Senator, I invite you to visit my website at Again, thank you for contacting me.”

    • The only way we could further politicize the Supreme Court without impeachments or constitutional amendments is if Republicans started acting like Democrats by never voting for someone appointed from the opposing party and nominating people who believe in a political agenda over the constitution.

  13. Make them filibuster for a while before pressing the button. Give the Trump state Democrats rope to hang their careers with.

  14. Hillary would have ditched Garland in a second to nominate someone else. Loretta Lynch most likely. So Garland was never going to get on. Big O used him for a publicity stunt.

  15. It is all in the wheel: what goes around, comes around. By logic, simple majority is fine (50 plus one) but for one hundred years they have considered these appointments so important that they prefer almost a 66% majority approval. When was the last time a US Presidential election was won by such majority? Not for decades. And no one complains when a POTUS is elected with less than 1% majority (well, at least not enough to change the outcome)So if the system goes to simple majority now, I hope the Republicans do not complain when its their time to bend over and take it like pussies because the 60 votes majority will never come back. And please do not call it the “nuclear option” it sounds ridiculous. Pundits and politicians like to talk in military terms that not even the real military likes to use, they sound more like NFL commentators. BULLSHITTERS galore and we elected these morons? We deserved to fleeced.

    • A hundred years is almost exactly back when the Progressives first really got their hooks into federal government & started enacting policy. Would be interesting to see some original arguments for enacting the 2/3rds rule. I personally think it is useful in empowering the senate beyond its initial allotment per the constitution; the prez can’t simply ignore 49 of the members, regardless of their party or the issue at hand. It forces the prez/House to concede more to the body in order to secure the 60 vote guarantee to get a bill they want passed, and it also forces the Senate to at least try to get 60 of their idiots to where they can try to work together at any given time.

      It makes the Senate a much more significant obstacle to legislation than it would be otherwise, ergo it makes that body more powerful than originally intended. So normally I’d be against it as a constitutional purist (it’s a sort of congressional anti-trust cartel scheme), but seeing as the Senate has been so badly weakened by the popular vote and congress at large by so much delegation to the executive bureaucracy, they probably do actually need that extra boost at this time.

      A senate made up of state-house appointed representatives vs. popularly-elected panderers would be nearly 3/4ths conservative Republican at this time, btw…in case anyone ever doubts the true purpose and impact of the 17th Amendment


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