The Corner

Law & the Courts

Senator Shaheen Opts to Filibuster

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.), Feb. 7: “Unlike the Republican majority, I haven’t heard any Democrats saying we don’t think that Judge Gorsuch should get a hearing or that he should get an up-or-down vote. Everybody I’ve talked to agrees he should get a hearing and an up-or-down vote.” Within hours she “explained” that a vote to filibuster a nomination counts as an up-or-down vote on one.

This week she confirmed that she will join a filibuster against Gorsuch, which is to say that she will block a final up-or-down vote on his nomination.

Hearings were going to take place whatever Sen. Shaheen thought about them. When she was patting herself on the back for her open-mindedness and fairness, she was piously renouncing steps she had no power to take, and trusting that people would be too unsophisticated to understand the con.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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