Poor bacon: No SCOTUS judge for you

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    Andy Brown

    With Trump prepared to announce his nominee on Tuesday evening, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in an interview on Monday morning that he will filibuster any pick that is not Merrick Garland and that the vast majority of his caucus will oppose Trump’s nomination. That means Trump’s nominee will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.

    “This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley said in an interview. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”

    Democrats have the 41 votes needed to block Trump’s nominee confirmation by a super majority vote. Senate Majority Leader McConnell absolutely does not want to change the rules to get the President’s nominee confirmed by a simple majority vote, because a change in the rules will come back to haunt Republicans once Democrats take back the Senate.

    Senate Democrats are enraged over McConnell’s blocking of Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, and they are determined to leave the seat vacant. With a midterm election coming up next year, the goal for Democrats should be to tie up Trump’s Supreme Court nominee through at minimum November 2018.

    If Democrats take back the Senate in 2018, Trump will never get to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat.

    Democrats wanted action from their Senators in resistance to Trump. They are about to get it in a big way, as for only the second time in US history, a Supreme Court nominee is going to be filibustered.


    Yeah, either Trump goes way left with a nominee, or he (or she) goes nowhere.

    And if McConnell tries the nuclear option, that can only end poorly for the GOP. Very poorly.


    The GOP will just eliminate the filibuster.

    Andy Brown

    McConjob has said he doesn’t want to do that (for obvious down the road reasons).

    “Senate rules are a matter for the Senate and a lot of other people have opinions,” McConnell said [alluding to Trump].

    “We’ve already adopted the rules for this Congress at the beginning of the year. Basically we didn’t adopt any because in the Senate rules are permanent, unlike the House which every two year adopts a new set of rules. We don’t.”

    McConnell has argued throughout his Senate career that the chamber’s rules can only be modified with a two-thirds vote, a striking contrast from his predecessor, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who triggered the nuclear-option in 2013 to shield executive branch and most judicial nominees from filibusters.

    “It takes 67 votes to change the rules in the Senate. We saw one rather conspicuous exception to that a few years ago but no we don’t have any current plans on the rules,” he said.

    Good read about this:


    I don’t take McConjob at his word.

    Republicans are ruthless and they’ll eliminate the filibuster if they don’t get what they want.

    Andy Brown

    I agree but as the article points out, it will only take three GOP defectors to prevent that from happening assuming he uses the Reid tactic where a simple majority changed the filibuster for lower court nominees. Normally, the GOP would be lock step but it is not that way right now.

    There are at least 12 GOP Senators who have issues with drumpf even before the latest immigration flap.

    It would only take 3 of them to quash the Reid tactic should McConjob go that route.



    I’m very torn about this, which is entirely (100%) the fault of the GOP.

    On the one hand, I have respect for our governmental institutions, civility, and normative behavior that’s in the best interest of the general public and the common interest. On the other hand, we have one of our two major political parties that demonstrably does not.

    Under normal circumstances, and nothing about the GOP’s unprecedented levels of (entirely unprincipled) obstructionism during President Obama’s term of office was remotely normal, the rather moderate Merrick Garland would now be a Supreme Court Justice. Instead, The Republican Party literally stole that seat from the sitting President by refusing to even debate the matter.

    Now, with the inarguably abnormal Presidency of Donald Trump underway in train wreck fashion, the GOP expect the Democrats to immediately set about confirmation hearings his pick for the court without delay. I would imagine the Democratic leadership is more than a bit torn about this as well for a number of entirely reasonable reasons.

    I don’t see a high level of cooperation having been earned by President Trump. Threatening and bullying those whom do not agree with you is not a particularly diplomatic nor effective way of swaying opinions.

    Of course, the simplest way for Donald Trump and The Republicans to address this vacancy, and put reasonable pressure upon Democratic cooperation, would be by nominating someone that’s not a complete right wing ideologue. Like the George H.W. Bush appointed Merrick Garland would have been. The situation would still be grotesque; but it would at least show some form of middle of the road outreach. How middle of the road would have Justice Garland been? Here’s what that notorious progressive firebrand Orin Hatch (R) of Utah had to say on the matter.

    On March 11, 2016, Senator Orrin Hatch, president pro tempore of the United States Senate and the most senior Republican Senator, predicted that President Obama would “name someone the liberal Democratic base wants” even though he “could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man.”

    I’m not holding my breath. He’ll likely nominate someone utterly odious to all save the Republican base.

    Despite not having won the popular vote, a result that demands a measure of humility, Trump has behaved in wretched and divisive fashion from the moment of his electoral victory. His every utterance and action seems designed to only inflame the passions of those whom did vote for him while simultaneously outraging those whom did not. There’s no positive vision. There’s no overarching call to our better angels. There’s no attempt to convince those that did not initially support his candidacy that they should now put their fears aside and support him. Quite the contrary, Trump seems determined to insult, belittle, marginalize, and attack anyone and everything that does not flaccidly fall into line. He often, literally, sounds like a child having a temper tantrum. And a dumb one, at that.

    I think I’ve talked myself into a decision. Trump is not a normal President. (Duh) Nothing about what he’s said, done, or plans on doing appears to be remotely normal. I believe he’s a dangerous to our National Security. I fully support a lock-step, Democratic filibuster of anyone Donald Trump nominates to The Supreme Court.

    If the majority chooses to end the filibuster, that too will fall on their heads in the future. I predict nothing good will come of any of this.


    Pryor from Alabama will be the nominee. You know, because Alabama. First in football, last in everything else! Unless you’re a racist, then you’re in good company AND have a good football team.

    The Dems will filibuster, and the GOP will change the rules to get Pryor elected. Simple as that. It’s what they do. And what Democrats wished we would do when having the power.

    Obama could have appointed Garland during the recess, but didn’t. Switch the sides and you can count on it the GOP would have utilized the recess appointment. Without question and without repercussion.


    Trump lost the vote by almost 3 million. That means the voters want a Democratic president to select the justice.


    The wiser members of the GOP know they don’t have a mandate from the people and the Trump gift horse could go away at any second.


    Whenever Trump sets a new standard of outrageousness, he never retreats from it; instead, he doubles down. Makes me wonder when his administration will achieve critical mass. As Lurking and others have pointed out, Republicans of good conscience in Congress will start jumping off the Trump train at some point. Maybe sooner than I thought.


    Unfortunately there are few Republicans of good conscience. I see no statesmen, in either party, unlike those existing during Watergate.

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