One of the assumptions behind Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans changing the filibuster rules in the Senate to force an up-or-down vote on Supreme Court nominees has always been the fact that, should Democrats regain power, they will be in a position to use the rule for their own nominees.
Which didn’t bother many conservatives, especially given that Republicans never put up much of a fight on Democratic SCOTUS nominees anyway, but it was used as a talking point by some against the so-called “nuclear option.”
But now that the “bomb” has gone off, if you will, it looks like at least a few Democratic Senators are open to the idea of going back to the old rules, if and when their party retakes the majority.
On Monday, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey told MSNBC, “When the Democrats return to the majority and capture the presidency ― which we will, that day is going to arrive ― we will restore the 60-vote margin. We will ensure that for the Supreme Court, there is that special margin that any candidate has to reach, because that is essential to ensuring that our country has a confidence in people who are nominated, rather than just someone who passes a litmus test.”
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) April 10, 2017
In their coverage of this news entitled “Democrats Contemplate How To Forfeit Their Power Upon Regaining The Senate,” the liberal Huffington Post opines:
“The idea that Democrats would one day make it harder for a Supreme Court nominee to be confirmed is baffling from a partisan standpoint. Under such a scenario, Democrats would be in control of the Senate, and would therefore already have the number of votes needed to defeat any nominee ― since as of last week, the process now requires just a simple majority vote. Thus, if Democrats controlled the Senate and the president were a Republican, Dems wouldn’t need to raise the filibuster threshold to block that president’s choice. And if the president were a Democrat, Senate Dems would actually be making it harder for that president’s nominee to end up on the court.”
Which seems to be the correct view from a partisan liberal standpoint, and exactly the reason why many conservatives argued for the use of the nuclear option this time around.
According to the Huffington Post, the logic for Democrats who would consider going back to the old process is all about “regaining institutional authority for the legislative branch and encouraging more bipartisanship.”
There’s also the possibility of lowering the threshold from 60 to something else entirely.
“One of the things I floated a number of times… was a swap,” Delaware Senator Chris Coons told the Post. “Let’s repair some of the damage done in 2013. Restore a filibuster for Cabinet, sub-Cabinet, district court, circuit court. But make it a 55-vote margin or a 56-vote margin. And in exchange for that, let’s lower the filibuster margin for the Supreme Court to 56. I would be very interested in both strengthening the filibuster rule and strengthening just some of the operations of the institutions of the Senate so that there has to be bipartisanship. So that there has to be a few members of the other party signing off and supporting everything.”
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as his colleagues, but he didn’t slam the door either, telling MSNBC: “I don’t actually think Republicans should bet the farm on Democrats reversing course if and when we take control of the Senate.”
And even the King of Obstruction himself, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, told the Huffington Post in January that he’d be willing to reinstate the filibuster rules overturned by Harry Reid & Company in 2013.
Given the events of the past few weeks, that’s probably not how he feels now.
While all this could be nothing more than posturing, the thought of Democrats willingly giving up power, especially since they started this whole “nuclear option” thing in the first place, seems almost impossible to comprehend.
Put it this way, I’ll believe it when I see it!
Obviously, libs aren’t thrilled at the possibility:
— c4miles (@curmudgeonboy) April 10, 2017
— Єd LααЬеѕ (@EdLaabes) April 10, 2017
— William McInerney (@bmcinern) April 10, 2017
— Mario H. Lopez (@MarioHLopez) April 10, 2017
— Alex (@BoKnowsAlex) April 10, 2017
— Desperada (@dsprada) April 10, 2017
— Justin Tessier ? (@Justin_Tessier) April 10, 2017
— meh.? (@1twillback321) April 10, 2017
— meh.? (@1twillback321) April 10, 2017
— misha (@indigomisha) April 10, 2017
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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