Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

No Deal

Politico reports that some Senate Democrats might try to pursue a deal with Senate Republicans that would “allow confirmation of [Supreme Court nominee Neil] Gorsuch in exchange for a commitment from Republicans not to kill the filibuster for a subsequent [Supreme Court] vacancy during President Donald Trump’s term.”

There is no reason for any Senate Republicans to entertain this foolish deal. Such a deal would give Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer a preemptive veto over the next Supreme Court nominee.

If Senate Democrats are serious about filibustering the Gorsuch nomination, that shows that there is no plausible nominee of a Republican president whom they wouldn’t filibuster—and no one worthwhile who would ever get Schumer’s okay.

It’s time to put Senate Democrats to the test. If they defeat cloture on the Gorsuch nomination (by preventing 60 yes votes on cloture), the only sensible response from Senate Republicans is to do what Senate Democrats boasted they would do in the same scenario: abolish the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.

It makes no sense for Republicans to allow a double standard under which Supreme Court nominees of a Republican president are subjected to a filibuster but Senate Democrats, when back in the majority, would be free to abolish the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees of a Democratic president.


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