(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) In considering the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats increasingly appear to be listening more to hard-left interest groups than to traditionally liberal voices – including their own voices from not too long ago.
With each passing day, more Democrats announce not only that they will vote against confirming Gorsuch, but that they will join a filibuster against him. This even though weeks ago some of them expressed disdain for a filibuster — a word originally applied to piracy — in such circumstances. [Article continues after the unfortunately placed ad.]
Noted longtime liberal law professor Cass Sunstein, a veteran of the Obama White House, laid out a good overview Monday of the four main options facing Democrats on this nomination. They can either 1) return to what once was “normal order” and confirm Gorsuch because he “clearly passes the character and competence tests; or 2) return to “normal order” but interpreted differently, so they could vote “no” based on his ideology but not go so far as to filibuster against his nomination (thus letting a simple majority, rather than 60 percent, confirm him); or 3) announce full-fledged opposition based on liberal principles – meaning that “confirmation wars are here to stay, which would be pretty terrible news”; or 4) admit that it’s all about political power and thus offer blanket opposition to just about anybody Republicans would nominate.
For the record, Sunstein prefers option 2, because it “reflects a sensible understanding of the system of separation of powers, and it would be a form of statesmanship.”
Option 2 long had been the default position of most leading Senate Democrats: Vote “yes” on some Republican nominees, vote “no” on many others, but only try to filibuster the nomination to death in truly extreme circumstances.
…. [later in the article]…. The mixed messages, and apparent mixed feelings, of Democrats were in perfect view from Vermont’s Patrick Leahy, a 42-year veteran of the Senate and long a key player on judicial nominations. In a single day, Leahy said quite clearly that he was “not inclined” to back a filibuster, and then later issued a threat to do just that if Gorsuch does not answer yet more, new written questions the Democrats will give him….
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