By Dave Andrusko
Next week the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. As we know, the ABA deemed Judge Gorsuch “well-qualified” (its highest rating) to serve on the nation’s highest court. As we also know pro-abortionists have been spoiling for a fight, insisting, as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) did yesterday, that it is “virtually impossible” to avoid a filibuster.
Their grievance (besides the obvious fact that they would oppose any nominee they hadn’t chosen)? According to the Washington Post, that in spite of spending “nearly 20 hours answering approximately 1,200 questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee”; providing “ 70 pages of written responses to questions from senators of both parties”; and meeting with nearly 80 senators,” Judge Gorsuch (Schumer told the Post) “did not convince people he was independent and thoughtful and down the middle.”
A more honest answer comes from Linda Greenhouse, the New York Times’ former Supreme Court reporter and author of a servile portrait of Roe v. Wade author Justice Harry Blackmun. In her Thursday column for the Times, Greenhouse contrasted Gorsuch’s refusal to say what his position on Roe is (just as he refused to do on countless other issues that may come before the Court, saying only that Roe and Casey are precedents, which is a truism) with pro-abortion icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
At her confirmation hearing Ginsburg danced around issue after issue but not abortion. According to Greenhouse, “then-Judge Ginsburg was forthright in her support of the right to abortion, calling it ‘essential to woman’s equality,’ and she praised the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey as having strengthened the right in some respects.”
The long and the short of the Post story this morning, written by Ed O’Keefe, is that a filibuster is likely and that efforts to work out a “compromise” have failed. As is always the case with “compromises,” Republicans are supposed to give up what Democrats want and would never agree to if Republicans were making the demand.
In this case, if for whatever reason Gorsuch does not make it to the court, Schumer told O’Keefe (and I kid you not), “Democrats would be willing to consult with Trump on a replacement.” Bear in mind the “replacement” cannot be any of the 21 people then-candidate Trump listed as possible selections. Even by pro-abortion Democrat’ standards, that’s bold.
O’Keefe’s story includes a couple of quotes from Republican senators to bolster his conclusion “Republicans are increasingly agitated with Democratic attacks on Gorsuch.”
As we observed Wednesday, the truth is
The Senate is currently controlled by Republicans, 52 to 48. Under current Senate precedents, it would require 60 votes to “invoke cloture” to end a filibuster on a Supreme Court nominee. If all Republicans vote to confirm Judge Gorsuch, eight Democrats would have to join them in support to end a filibuster. 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
No one but no one doubts that were the shoe on the other foot, Democrats would change the threshold for nominations to the Supreme Court to a simple majority. But threatening “chaos”–the same “chaos” they would blithefully embrace were it their nominee–is supposed to intimidate Republicans into a “compromise.”
What a bunch.
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