Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—February 7

Judge Gorsuch at his Senate confirmation hearing, March 21, 2017. (Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

2017—In his desperate effort to obstruct the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer continues to propagate the myth that a 60-vote standard exists for Supreme Court nominees. Never mind that even the Washington Post’s Fact Checker has explained that no such standard exists.

Meanwhile, Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen declares on the Senate floor that neither she nor any of her fellow Democrats she’s talked to have any intention of filibustering the Gorsuch nomination.

Two months later, Shaheen and 43 of her fellow Democrats will vote to filibuster the Gorsuch nomination. But the Schumer-led gambit will backfire spectacularly, as Senate Republicans, following the precedent Democratic leader Harry Reid set in November 2013 on lower-court judicial nominations and executive-branch nominations, will proceed to abolish the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations.

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