Conservatives owe former Senate minority leader Harry Reid a debt of gratitude.
While many were glad to see the contentious Nevada senator retire after nearly a five decade-long political career, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer believes Reid deserves thanks for the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Thank God for Harry Reid. Why nothing will stop Neil Gorsuch from being elevated to the Supreme Court. https://t.co/Gfnazl2VlC
— Charles Krauthammer (@krauthammer) February 3, 2017
President Donald Trump’s pick for the US Supreme Court was made possible by several factors like Hillary Clinton’s election loss, Trump’s election victory and even Sen. Mitch McConnell’s stand against former President Obama’s SCOTUS nominee. But, Krauthammer pointed out in a Washington Post opinion piece published Friday, it is Reid who deserves the biggest thanks.
“God bless Harry Reid. It’s because of him that Gorsuch is guaranteed elevation to the court,” Krauthammer wrote.
“In 2013, as Senate majority leader, Reid blew up the joint. He abolished the filibuster for federal appointments both executive (such as Cabinet) and judicial, for all district and circuit court judgeships (excluding only the Supreme Court). Thus unencumbered, the Democratic-controlled Senate packed the lower courts with Obama nominees,” he explained.
“Reid was warned that the day would come when Republicans would be in the majority and would exploit the new rules to equal and opposite effect,” Krauthammer wrote. “That day is here.”
— Starzfan01 (@Starzfan01) February 3, 2017
— Proud American (@Vote_American) February 3, 2017
Democrats are “powerless” to stop any of Trump’s Cabinet appointments, Krauthammer noted, because Republicans already have 52 votes while only 51 are needed, making it unnecessary to reach the 60 needed to filibuster.
“But isn’t the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees still standing?” Krauthammer wrote. “Yes, but if the Democrats dare try it, everyone knows that Majority Leader McConnell will do exactly what Reid did and invoke the nuclear option — filibuster abolition — for the Supreme Court, too.”
The advantage Reid gave Republicans with the nuclear option will remain with the GOP as long as it retains control of the White House and Congress.
“Republicans are no fools. They are not about to forfeit the advantage bequeathed to them by Harry Reid’s shortsighted willfulness,” Krauthammer wrote. “They will zealously retain the nuclear option for Supreme Court nominees through the current Republican tenure of Congress and the presidency. After which they should be ready to parlay and press the reset button.”
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