Sunday, April 02, 2017

An historic week ahead?

At Breitbart, Ken Klukowski informs us
This week’s Senate showdown over the pending Supreme Court confirmation will go down in history because by next weekend America will either see the first ever successful partisan filibuster of a nominee or the Senate will reject using filibusters to block presidential nominations.

The Senate’s judiciary committee will vote Monday, April 3, on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court to succeed a historic figure in American law, Justice Antonin Scalia. The committee will favorably report the nomination to the full Senate, possibly on a party-line 11-9 vote.

The full Senate will debate Gorsuch’s nomination starting Tuesday, with a final vote on Friday, April 7. 228 years, there has never been a successful partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nomination.

But that is what Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is attempting to do this week, declaring a new 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominations.

...There are 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats (including Independents who caucus with the Democrats) in the Senate today. Consequently, it would take eight Democrats to cross the aisle to invoke a 60-vote cloture.

If there are not eight to be found, then Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is prepared to have the chair issue a ruling that the precedent Reid created in 2013 applies to Supreme Court nominations as well. If at least 50 senators agree (because Vice President Mike Pence casts the tie-breaking vote if the Senate splits 50-50), then Gorsuch’s nomination—and all future Supreme Court nominations—will need only 51 votes. Such a ruling is called the “constitutional option” by its supporters.

This constitutional option would restore two centuries of precedent, whereby elections have consequences. The Constitution vests the power to appoint judges jointly in the president and the Senate. If the American people give the White House and the Senate to the same political party, then that party should be able to confirm its own nominees to the judiciary.

It is unclear at that point where the votes are, both on the Gorsuch filibuster and on the constitutional option. But whichever way the showdown goes, Friday’s vote will be one for the history books.
Read more here.

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