By Dave Andrusko
Pro-abortion Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said this morning that he will be among the Senate Democrats who filibuster the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Under current Senate precedents, it would require 60 votes to end a filibuster (“invoke cloture”) on a Supreme Court nominee. The Senate is currently controlled by Republicans, 52 to 48. However, in 2013 the then-majority Democrats lowered the cloture threshold from 60 to a simple majority for all other presidential nominations, and the Republicans could now do the same thing for nominations to the Supreme Court.
Schumer’s remarks were wholly expected. In venue after venue, Schumer made it abundantly clear here was an imaginary judicial “mainstream” which only candidates nominated by pro-abortion Democratic presidents could occupy.
For example, reporting on an appearance he made on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program in January, NBC News noted
Asked by Maddow whether he would seek to simply keep the seat open rather than confirm a nominee outside the mainstream, Schumer replied: “Absolutely.”
“We are not going to make it easy for them to pick a Supreme Court justice,” he said.
Suggesting that could be any nominee, he said: “It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we [Democrats] could support.”
This morning Schumer followed through, asserting that Gorsuch is “not a neutral legal mind but someone with a deep-seated conservative ideology.”
On its webpage, The Washington Post reported, “It is not clear that Democrats have the votes to block Gorsuch and to keep Republicans from changing the chamber’s way of doing business [by eliminating the 60-vote hurdle for Supreme Court nominations]. But Schumer’s announcement is likely to further politicize an already divided Congress.”
Which is to imply a false equivalency and miss the entire point of the resistance to Gorsuch’s nomination to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said earlier this week, “If Judge Gorsuch can’t achieve 60 votes in the Senate, could any judge appointed by a Republican president be approved with 60 or more votes in the Senate?”
Or as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said yesterday at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, “I hope you understand that you’re getting one of the most qualified conservative judges in the county. Sen. Feinstein said her goal was to find out if you are a reasonable mainstream conservative. I would tell you, Sen. Feinstein, without any hesitation, this man is as mainstream as you will get.”
Republicans have repeated vowed to confirm Gorsuch, hopefully by April 8. There are 52 Republicans in the Senate. If at least eight Democrats do not vote to end debate on the Gorsuch nomination, Republicans could change the rules to require only a simple majority vote to end the filibuster.