Sen. McCain and his Gang of 14 had as much to do with getting Justices Roberts and Alito onto the Court as I did getting A-Rod and Jeter into the Yankees infield — after all, I’ve bought a couple of tickets.
The Gang of 14 deal killed more judicial nominations than it saved. It elevated senatorial privilege over constitutional duty. It protected senators who didn’t want to stand up and be counted. It took off the table in 2006 what would have been a winning issue for Republicans. And once the Democrats won the midterm elections, it ensured that Sen. Leahy could take things from there — slow-walking nominations into a record number of vacancies he is waiting for a Democrat president to fill. There’s bipartisanship for you.
If McCain really wants to open up this debate again, good luck. Does he really think preventing people (i.e., conservative sentators) from “blowing up the Senate” resonates with anyone other than other senators (who naturally are enthralled by the enormous power the filibuster and their other confirmation-obstructing perks provide)?