Bench Memos

Collins Will Vote For Alito

Senator Susan Collins of Maine has announced her intention to vote for Alito.

Collins was one of three Republicans whom some saw as possible votes against Alito. The other two — who haven’t yet announced their positions — are Collins’s colleague from Maine, Olympia Snowe, and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. One other Republican who is expected to vote yes, Senator Stevens, apparently also hasn’t announced his position.

I believe that 86 senators have now declared their positions: 55 for Alito, 31 against. Of the remaining Democrats, four (Conrad, Dorgan, Landrieu, and Pryor) are possible yes votes.

So it looks like Alito will get between 56 and 62 votes — probably 58 to 61.

There will probably be a lot of attention focused on whether Alito reaches the filibuster-proof level of 60, but this seems to me beside the point. There’s no actual prospect of a filibuster, as a number of Democrats who will vote against him have already made clear that they won’t support a filibuster. And I don’t see how the difference between 56-59 votes and 60-62 votes would have any effect on any subsequent Supreme Court nomination.

Most Popular


A Reckoning Is in Store for Democrats

The crisis of the Democrats is becoming more evident each week. Those of us who have been loudly predicting for years that the Russian-collusion argument would be exposed as a defamatory farce, and that the authors of it would eventually pay for it, are bemused at the fallback position of the Trump-haters: that ... Read More
White House


Some of you will be familiar with a lefty, partisan Democratic organization called MoveOn, formerly MoveOn.Org. It was founded during an investigation into President Bill Clinton’s shenanigans (which were not, Democratic mythology notwithstanding, strictly sexual in nature) and argued that it was time for the ... Read More

Why ‘Stop Sanders’?

'Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?” T. S. Eliot asked. “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” And where is the intelligence we have lost in cleverness? Cleverness is the plague of our political classes, an influenza of the intellect. The consultants are always trying to ... Read More