(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) Court-watchers have debated for weeks both the likelihood and the propriety of the filibuster against Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch that Senate Democrats have threatened. But now that the filibuster is about to occur, the debate has moved to whether the procedural roadblock is politically smart.
As with the other debates, there’s little room for middle ground; very few shades of gray: The filibuster on Gorsuch is either one of the most idiotic political moves of the century so far, or else it’s a stroke of genius.
A filibuster, of course, is a Senate tactic in which a minority effectively requires a 60-vote threshold (out of 100 senators) in order to let legislation or a nomination be confirmed. In return, the Republican majority is threatening to use the so-called (and controversially named) “nuclear option” to change the rules and make a filibuster unusable.
At Real Clear Politics alone on Tuesday, the top three articles all addressed this dispute. National Review editor Rich Lowry, writing at the New York Post, calls it “the dumbest filibuster in U.S. history.” But Julian Zelizer of CNN says (as summed up in the headline) that “Gorsuch filibuster would be good for Democrats.” And RCP’s own writers James Arkin and Caitlyn Huey-Burns report that Democrats have concluded “they are better off politically in opposing anything Donald Trump touches.”
Lowry and Zelizer see things quite differently.
“A Gorsuch filibuster would be an act of a sheer partisan pique against the wrong target, with the wrong method, at the wrong time,” Lowry writes….. [But]….
“Democrats have been arguing for decades that the filibuster doesn’t tend to benefit their party,” counters Zelizer, a professor at Princeton. “The Senate is already an institution that favors smaller states, and the filibuster, empowering the minority, has turned the upper chamber into a supermajoritarian body. Given that Democrats tend to come from the more populous states, over time Democrats suffer on this and other issues.”….
The full article is at this link.