Democrats to Filibuster Gorsuch

From the Washington Post:

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, faced a critical blow on Thursday as Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he would join with other Democrats in attempting to filibuster the nomination — a move that could complicate his confirmation and lead to a total revamp of how the U.S. Senate conducts its business.

Since last year’s elections, Democrats have threatened to force Trump’s Supreme Court nominees to clear procedural hurdles requiring at least 60 senators to vote to end debate and proceed to a confirmation vote. Republicans are eager to confirm Gorsuch before an Easter recess next month, but with no Democrat expressing support for Gorsuch, they are threatening to change Senate rules to ensure the judge’s swift confirmation by allowing Supreme Court picks to be confirmed with a simple majority vote.

Although it is not yet clear whether the Democrats have the votes to sustain a filibuster, Schumer’s move increases pressure on fellow Democrats to follow suit. The GOP had better get ready to break out the nuclear football. As I predicted:

Expect the Democrats to filibuster every SCOTUS nominee that President Trump produces. The GOP will most certainly have to nuke the filibuster option if any of Trump’s nominees are to receive the Senate’s consent to serve.

Democratic opposition to such an eminently qualified judge is foolish in the extreme. This is either an ineffectual payback for the rebuff of Merrick Garland or it’s a surrender to a rabid constituency which insists on opposing everything associated with Trump. In either case, this move is infantile and lays bare to moderates who the real extremists are.

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  • Retired military

    In other news the sun rose in the east this morning.
    Supposedly the dems are trying to work a deal where they wont filibuster Gorsuch if McConnell and company promise not to nuke the filibuster on the next SCOTUS pick. I wouldn’t be surprised if McCuckold McConnell didn’t think this one up. If the republicans agree to do this then they deserve the trouncing they will get in 2018, McConnell has zero balls. Maybe someone will lend him a pair so that he will nuke the filibuster and be done with it. That way there wont be all the wailing and gnashing of teeth when Ginsberg and Stevens retire which will hopefully be VERY SOON.

    • Scalia

      You’ll notice that the picture associated with this post has a printed Oppose on top while Gorsuch is written in. They just printed a bunch of “oppose” signs with blanks to fill in because that’s what they’re all about—oppose everything. Too funny!

    • yetanotherjohn

      I think this best describes what is going on. They make a credible threat of a filibuster. Then they make a private deal with three GOP senators that there will be no nuke on the next (and arguably more important) SCOTUS nominee.

      On the other hand, given the two speech rule, keep the session going 24/7. Let them talk themselves silly. After each has given their two speeches, then vote. Don’t have to nuke and given the age of some of the dems, we may create a few vacancies.

    • Scalia

      Do you have a link to that? I heard about a deal in the works before Schumer decided to go the filibuster route. IOW, for whatever reason, the Dems are abandoning any quid pro quo and going all-out for a filibuster. This, of course, triggers the nuclear option. In fact, some of the Slate gang are lamenting that the Dems didn’t go for the deal.

      If you have anything newer than that, please share it. Thanks, in advance.

      • Retired military

        Democrats weigh deal to let Gorsuch through

        Lawmakers are mulling an offer to Republicans that would keep the filibuster intact for the next Supreme Court nominee.

        • Scalia

          That was from yesterday. You link also says:

          The current talks are limited to about a half-dozen Democratic lawmakers. They haven’t made an offer to Republicans yet, and Democratic leaders wouldn’t support one.

          It appears that Schumer’s announcement today is calculated to kill such a deal.

          • jim_m

            The delay on the House vote for the Health Care bill will embolden the dems to increase their opposition to everything Trump wants.

            Ultimately, this plays into the hands of the GOP as they will be able to kill the filibuster for SCOTUS nominees and they will be able to then install someone the dems would really dislike as the next justice. Gorsuch is relatively moderate compared to who they will get next if they filibuster him.

          • Retired military

            Dont know. Just saw it this morning. Still you know my opinion of McConnell.

  • Nuke the Fillibuster.

  • Shock the fillibuster
    Shock the fillibuster

    Cover me when I run
    Cover me through the fire
    Something knocked me out’ the trees
    Now I’m on my knees
    Cover me, darling please

    Don’t you know when you’re going to shock the fillibuster
    Fox the fox
    Rat the rat
    You can ape the ape
    I know about that
    There is one thing you must be sure of
    I can’t take any more
    Darling, don’t you fillibuster with the fillibuster


    Don’t you know you’re going to shock the fillibuster
    Wheels keep turning
    Something’s burning
    Don’t like it but I guess I’m learning
    Shock! Watch the monkey get hurt, fillibuster

    With absolutely no apologies to Peter Gabriel or our own busted troll.

  • Paul Hooson

    He’s certainly a well qualified judge with the highest of ethics. I don’t see any ethical reason for Democrats to oppose his nomination.

    • When, in the last decade, have the Democrats demonstrated so much as a scintilla of ethics? Please cite examples.

      • Paul Hooson

        It’s certainly wrong for either party to play political games when a candidate is well qualified and of the highest ethics and intellectual skills. That’s very unfair to quality candidates, no matter which party nominates them.

        • ATFQ.

          • Paul Hooson

            I don’t see the two major parties in black & white terms, of good and bad. All members of congress often do well for individuals they represent. But, there appeared to be no ethical reason for Judge Merrick Garland to not even get a scheduled hearing, despite the lack of any evidence of him being a bad judge in any way. Likewise, this also appears to be a fine judge, who is having games played with his nomination, which I also find as wrong. I feel that two decent good men are being treated in a shabby fashion here. Two wrongs do not make one right.

          • Ergo you cannot cite a dhimmocrat acting ehically in the last decade. Cheater’s gambit response is all you are due.

          • Paul Hooson

            Probably, far more men and women who considered themselves to be Democrats have died in wars to defend this country in the last 100 years. But, this doesn’t mean that Republicans love this country any less. Both parties have plenty of good persons as members.

          • Vagabond661

            Sure you can say say both parties love their country. The problem is Democrats hate what Republicans love about this country.

          • Actually, combat arms are disproportionately conservative.

          • fustian24

            Well, the bipartisan practice for quite some time has been not to install a new Supreme Court Justice in the last year of a President’s term.

            So this was quite expected.

            But, besides that, the democrats were never really serious about Garland. They were SO certain that Hillary was going to win and then they’d be free to nominate someone much more of an ideologue.

            But Hillary lost. Now the left is furious. But they sure were smug before the election about this.

  • pennywit

    My position remains unchanged. I thought Merrick Garland was a very qualified jurist when Obama nominated him to the Supreme Court early last year, and I believe the Senate should have considered his nomination and confirmed him.

    I also believe that Neal Gorsuch is quite qualified for the Supreme Court, and I believe the Senate ought to consider his nomination and vote on it. I do not believe that Democrats should filibuster his nomination.

    I also believe the Supreme Court needs to have its full roster of nine justices.

    I continue to be quite angry at the way Republican-led Senate treated Judge Garland’s nomination. But the place to express that pique is in the voting booth. Unless the action is part of a greater political strategy, a senatorial tantrum neither advances the Democrats’ political cause no serves the country.

    • Scalia

      So, Garland is “very qualified” and should have been “confirmed,” but Gorsuch is “quite qualified” and the Senate should “vote on it.” Is it then correct to say that you do not believe that Gorsuch should be confirmed?

      With respect to Garland’s treatment, the ideological balance of the court was at stake; that changed everything considerably. If Clinton had won, she could have resubmitted Garland’s name to the Senate and he would most likely have been confirmed. Letting the People decide the matter on such a critical issue isn’t out of bounds.

      • pennywit

        So, Garland is “very qualified” and should have been “confirmed,” but Gorsuch is “quite qualified” and the Senate should “vote on it.” Is it then correct to say that you do not believe that Gorsuch should be confirmed?

        Incorrect. I believe he ought to be confirmed, based both on this qualifications and Federalist No. 76:

        The Senate could not be tempted, by the preference they might feel to another, to reject the one proposed; because they could not assure themselves, that the person they might wish would be brought forward by a second or by any subsequent nomination.

        • Scalia

          Thanks for the clarification, but I’m rather confused by your reliance on Federalist 76. Hamilton is making the point that the power of nomination rests in the president, so even if the Senate were to reject his nomination, the next nominee will also be the president’s choice and will therefore be his preference, not theirs. He went on to say, “They could not even be certain, that a future nomination would present a candidate in any degree more acceptable to them…”

          The GOP knew that if the Democrats won, their president would nominate somebody far more liberal than Justice Scalia. They would have accepted the outcome of the election and said nominee would have been confirmed. There is nothing in Hamilton contradicting that.

          • pennywit

            I’m referring to the decision to filibuster Gorsuch.

          • Scalia

            But wasn’t that disproved with the Bork nomination? The Senate rejected him, Ginsburg withdrew his nomination, then Kennedy, who was/is not nearly as conservative as Bork, was confirmed. That shows that the Senate can get a nominee more to their liking by opposing some of the president’s nominees.

          • pennywit

            They can, but there’s no guarantee. Also, Donald Trump seems far more combative than Reagan was.

          • jim_m

            The filibuster of Gorsuch puts that at an end as the GOP will respond by killing the filibuster. As long as the Senate is controlled by the party that holds the White House confirmation will proceed along partisan lines. The dems have killed the process by making it poisonously political over the last 40 years as Scalia has pointed out.

          • That:

            …Donald Trump seems far more combative than Reagan was.

            is a feature, not a bug.

  • pennywit

    I wouldn’t say “nuke the filibuster” immediately. Instead, I’d like to see the Republicans force Democrats’ hand. Clear out the legislative agenda for the month of April. Keep the Senate in session twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with Gorsuch’s nomination the only item on the agenda. Keep it going until one side or the other cries uncle.

    If Democrats want to filibuster, make them stand up there and filibuster.

    • jim_m

      Nope. Take them at their word and kill it. When the next opening comes up ram the most flagrantly conservative judge down their throats. and tell them FU. It is what the dems would do. There is no taking the high road. They are just like their islamist allies. Any refusal to press the advantage is seen as a weakness.

  • Par4Course

    Well said. Having nothing to show Judge Gorsuch is in any way unqualified, the Dems are trying to use the 60-vote closure rule to block him. This may lead to the so-called nuclear option, which will allow all Supreme Court nominees a straight up or down vote.

  • Wild_Willie

    Nuke option NOW. Make no mistake, dem’s would in a heartbeat. The GOP needs to wake up, dem’s don’t respect the rules unless it benefits them. Reid proved that. The ‘wise’ statesman of the senate if history. The dem’s created the ‘Biden Rule’ yet last year didn’t want it.

    This is how the GOP loses the perception of weak leadership. A couple of rough moves then the dem’s will have to recalculate their behavior. ww

  • Brucehenry
    • jim_m

      Funny article. It was a joke right? Because the premise that an appellate judge who had voted with the majority 99% of the time and who is almost never overturned, is some radical right wing lunatic outside of the mainstream is ludicrous. And only by accepting that premise can one accept the idea that the dems should go to Trump and say that they will approve a nominee if Trump consults with them first and effectively gives them preemptive veto power over his Presidency.

      Only a complete idiot would mistake this article for wisdom.

      The epic ignorance and complete lack of self awareness is obvious in the premise above. The dems are demanding a justice who will legislate from the bench, but only one that will legislate from the far left. Only that will placate them. The idea of nominating someone who evidence shows will resist legislating from the bench is unacceptable. This article demands that the dems hold the government hostage in order to impose the views of a fascist minority.

      The final farce is the claim the the GOP should beware of killing the filibuster for SCOTUS nominees because it will eventually be used against them.

      Here’s a clue: even if they do not kill it, everyone knows that the dems will now do so at the earliest opportunity to force in the most offensive, totalitarian judge they can. There is no point or purpose in waiting for them to do so. The GOP should kill it now, while they have the opportunity to exploit it. For once the GOP should anticipate the bad faith of the left and act according to what we know is in their hearts. Believing that somehow the dems will act in good faith in the future is akin to going to Munich all over again.

      • Brucehenry

        LOL I offer “food for thought” and you vomit up the above comment.

        Even threw in a Neville Chamberlain reference.

        • jim_m

          You offered up a bullshit apologetic for the filibuster that claims without evidence that the left is acting on good faith and with the best intentions for the people of the United States without offering a shred of evidence that they do.

          You, respond to me not by engaging with the substance of what I say, but with insults only.

          What have you to say about my contention that there is no evidence that the left will not kill the filibuster at the first opportunity? Or that the idea that Gorsuch is out of the mainstream is bullshit? You offer nothing. No discussion. Not evidence to back up these unsupported allegations from your link.

          I attempted to engage in a civil conversation and the first response from you is an uncivil refusal to engage.

          • Brucehenry

            “Civil conversations” don’t typically include phrases like “only a complete idiot” and “hold the government hostage” and “fascist minority,” but hey, it’s YOU we’re talking about here, so sure, yeah, a civil conversation lol.

            I have little to say when you demand that I prove a negative. As for Gorsuch being out of the mainstream, some do say so:


            Others are offering different reasons why Gorsuch’s nomination should perhaps not be treated cavalierly:



            Including just plain political reasons:


          • jim_m

            Saying so does not make it so. The evidence of his rulings, the frequency with which he is in the majority and the rarity with which he is overruled show that the claim he is out of the mainstream is an outright lie and that people peddling it are deliberately dishonest and incapable of honest discussion on the issue.

            The idea that no nominee should be approved until Trump is “cleared of wrongdoing” is ideological bullshit. The DNI, the Directors of the FBI, CIA and NSA have all come out and stated that after over 6 months of investigation there is no evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

            So what dishonest assholes like you are offering is that when proof of the negative is finally offered (you whine that I ask you for that while demanding it yourself you dishonest freak), you will allow the government to function. What is holding the government hostage if not that?

            I can’t respond to the LA Times editorial as it is behind a paywall demanding that I white list the organization that has yet to release the Khalidi tapes. Using the organization that has withheld from the public the promises to our enemies of the last President is not going to be convincing regardless.

            If you want to ague that Gorsuch should be resisted simply as payback for Garland, you at least have a rational and honest argument finally. I don’t think it is anything but short sighted, petty and self defeating, but at the end you finally come to your first honest statement on the subject. Revealing it is that you find the only honest commentary to be the one you least want to defend.

          • Brucehenry

            Well you really showed some civility there. The very soul of rational discourse. I really liked “dishonest assholes like you” as an example of reasonable, moderate conversation.

            There is indeed, as Comey stated the other day, an FBI investigation ongoing into whether or not there was collusion between Trump associates and the Putin government. There is little doubt that Russia preferred Donald to Hillary. You can claim that it is settled that there is no there there all you want, but the head of the FBI says different.

            Sorry about the paywall, you must have exceeded the limit on free articles. There was no such paywall on my end. But hey, LOL about your nutjob “Khalidi tapes” too funny.

            I personally think Gorsuch will be confirmed as he is likely to be as moderate a nominee as we are going to see coming from Trump, but can certainly see why many would have problems with a man who was instrumental in constructing the legal rationale for Bush-era torture of detainees.

            Perhaps all the grandstanding from Schumer is just a ploy but perhaps he has more reason to believe that the GOP will not employ the nuclear option than you think. Perhaps the failure of Trumpcare and the revelation that Mr Art-of-the-Deal” cannot close and is not a leader has emboldened him.

          • FOAD

          • Brucehenry

            Hey, great pic!

          • jim_m

            My patience with you is sharply limited. I offered you civil discourse, you refused. Now, you can take what you get.

            No. An investigation is not evidence of collusion. After 6 months of investigation they have stated publicly before Congress that there is no evidence.

            Your McCarthyite position that the investigation is evidence of wrongdoing would warm the hearts of people like Stalin.

            If Schumer is grandstanding he is playing a dangerous game. If he pushes too far the GOP will kill the filibuster and he really will get someone from the far right wing like William Pryor, who called Roe v Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history”.

            I actually believe that the failure of the healthcare bill increases the chances that the GOP will kill the filibuster as they will want to do something to show their base that they still have the balls to make their agenda stick.

          • Scalia

            …who called Roe v Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history”.

            There are plenty of bad SCOTUS decisions, but Roe is up near the top of the worst.

          • jim_m

            Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. However, such public pronouncements create the impression that a judge has prejudged an issue and that is going to make confirmation difficult.

          • Brucehenry

            You may be correct in your prognostications. We will see. I find it difficult to believe that Schumer would do this on a whim. Perhaps he is as stupid as you guys like to think he is, but I doubt it.

            I’ll remind you that you and your side (and Trump!) are the ones who said that Hillary shouldn’t be “allowed” to be, or run for, president while under FBI investigation.

            And as for civil discourse, your offer included the assertion that “only an idiot” could think the linked article could contain any wisdom. Since I’m the one who posted it, I ask to be forgiven if I find it somewhat lacking in civility, especially in a first response. But hey, that’s just me, I guess you were raised (by wolves?) differently than I was.

            Anyway as I mentioned to Scalia, I wasn’t trying to start up with you, just thought the discussion, which had come to a halt, sounded a little echo-chamber-y.

          • jim_m

            I never said she should not be allowed to run. Only a fascist fuck like you says that.

            I agree that her handling of the email server demonstrates that she lacks the temperament to be a President unless you are looking for a third world dictator, which is why you voted for obama so I guess we have that answer.

            As for starting a discussion, why not actually say something about it then? Or are you the new personification of Rick and you will only post other people’s statements uncritically and refusing to offer any comment or critique on them yourself?

          • Brucehenry

            I did say something. I said the article was food for thought.

            I posted it because it seemed to me that the reliably conservative commenters here were all pretty much saying the same thing — that those dumb Dems were shooting themselves in the foot and were “the real extremists.” I thought maybe someone should pull your heads back so you didn’t all drown.

          • FOA.

          • jim_m

            And you post an idiotic article claiming that Gorsuch is far from the mainstream and you back that with statements that Trump is guilty because he is being investigated. Your fascist is showing.

          • Brucehenry

            You’ll have to point out a quote in my original linked article that says that Gorsuch is “far from the mainstream.” It’s certainly implied that there may be a more moderate nominee in the wings but I don’t see any accusations of radicalism.

            Now, when I Googled “Why shouldn’t Gorsuch be confirmed?” I DID find, and link to, an article or two talking about his support for torture during the Bush years. I didn’t link to them, but I’ve seen a few articles criticizing his dissent in that case about the truck driver who got fired in the blizzard, which some Senators have pointed to as evidence he is a corporate lackey of some kind. A case against his nomination can be made, even if Wizbang commenters might sneer at it.

          • jim_m

            There is a material difference between the work you do for a client and what you do as a judge. Obviously you are too dimwitted to understand that.

            If you actually read your own link you would have reached the conclusion that the reason to filibuster Gorsuch is because he is radically right wing and that the reason to do so is to force the GOP to offer a more “moderate” judge for consideration. But obviously you did not read it because you are claiming that no such claim is being made that Gorsuch is out of the mainstream when that is the very point of the whole article. (have I mentioned lately how stupid you are?)

          • Brucehenry

            The key word is “far.” Which was your word. Yes, the article expresses a desire for a more moderate nominee, but the word “mainstream” or the phrase “out of the mainstream” is not found in the article. It was mostly focused on politics and what Democrats might do to protect their base.

          • jim_m

            The only reason to oppose him on ideological grounds is because he is out of the mainstream. No judges have been opposed on ideological grounds short of that.

          • Brucehenry

            The article doesn’t say so, but I suspect where specifically Democrats find Gorsuch to be objectionable is in regard to torture and suspicions he is too likely to side with big corporations as opposed to their workers.

            Everyone knows the difference between acting as an advocate and being a judge. However, most of us suspect that a guy who is comfortable advocating for torture has a mindset that someone who is NOT comfortable with torture doesn’t have.

          • jim_m

            You fail to understand the nature of being a lawyer. Your job is to advocate for your client’s interests not your own. Someone as amoral as yourself should be able to wrap your head around that idea, esp since you have shown no compulsion toward any moral boundaries in the past.

          • Brucehenry

            There’s that civility again that you are so famous for.

            Hey, it’s almost time for “The Walking Dead.” Good night, maybe I’ll stop by tomorrow.

          • jim_m

            That last was civil.

          • Who here on Wizbang said that “Hillary Clinton should not be allowed to run for President while under FBI investigation.”?

            No one.

            Many here found her unqualified to be President based on her criminal mishandling of National Security matters.

            Jim, just down ding him and tell him to fuck off already,

          • fustian24

            There is little doubt that Russia preferred Donald to Hillary.

            I’ve never understood this and it makes zero sense to me.

            Obama and the democrats demonized Romney for suggesting that Russia was an enemy. Hillary even did that stupid “reset button” thing. They’re both Russophiles.

            And the Russians sure rewarded Hillary well for the Uranium One deal. As well as giving huge speaking fees to the big Bubba.

            And Podesta was making serious Russian scratch.

            If you look at the politics, Trump is a drill, baby, drill guy. Those frac wells have driven a stake right through the heart of the Russian economy. It’s pretty much capped the oil price at $50-$60. A Hillary presidency would really put a wrench in US energy thus driving up the oil price.

            And Trump believes in beefing up the military. The Russians REALLY don’t want that.

            I just see no reason why the Russians wouldn’t strongly prefer Hillary.

          • Fuck off.

          • Brucehenry

            Love the hat

        • Sod off, swampy.

          • Brucehenry


    • Scalia

      Judge Robert Bork’s public statements about Equal Protection and cases like Griswold and Roe made him an easy target of the Left. His confirmation would have guaranteed, at the very least, overturning Roe. Moreover, when Bork was nominated, textualism was not the dominant mode of statutory interpretation that it is today (mostly due, of course, to Justice Scalia’s influence). The constituents of the Democratic Senators entrusted to evaluate his nomination knew without a doubt that Roe would die if they confirmed him, so it was easy to see from that perspective why they opposed him.

      We don’t have the same situation with Gorsuch. His public record does not indicate how he’ll vote on issues like abortion or same-sex marriage, and textualism is very much in the mainstream of statutory interpretation. Opposing him actually puts the Democrats outside the mainstream and makes them look petty for trying to get even over Garland. Prior to the election, Reid asserted that the Democrats would kill the filibuster:

      Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is predicting a Democratic-majority Senate next year could break out the “nuclear option” to change the rules on Supreme Court nominations.

      The outgoing Democratic leader told Talking Points Memo that he’s paved the way for what would be a historic change of the Senate’s rules, allowing Supreme Court nominees to bypass a 60-vote procedural requirement and be approved by a simple majority.

      “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,” he said. “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.”

      In this instance, their digging in their heels over Gorsuch will guarantee that Trump will send another nominee from the list he compiled prior to the election. If the Democrats again block the next nominee, that will guarantee an end of the filibuster. Trump would probably renominate Gorsuch and the other blocked nominee.

      You have to pick your battles wisely. The GOP gambit over Garland paid off. They could at least defend their position as election-based—implying that they would, if they retained their majority status, cooperate if Clinton had won the election. Democrats would do better to grumble loudly about Gorsuch and let him take his seat, and then vigorously oppose the next nominee if s/he turns out to be another Bork. Opposing mainstream judges over imagined grievances or revenge is a bridge too far.

      • Brucehenry

        Except for the final sentence, I pretty much agree with your last paragraph. I didn’t comment in order to start a flame war with Jim, just to re-start discussion on a thread that had ground to a halt as soon as the caption contest appeared.

        Thanks for reading the link and replying.

    • As “food for thought” goes the above more closely resembles vomit or shit, thus explaining brucehemorrhoids endorsement of it.