Diary

Daily Kos Promotes End-Around to Confirm Next Supreme Court Justice

UPDATE: Daily Kos has created a petition to actually promote this piece of schnitzel.

Daily Kos is always an interesting read. Many of its diarists are very good at what they do, which is to wordsmith horse manure into plausible-sounding prose in a manner that William Buckley did for elucidating conservative thought. While the vast majority would vote to end the United States as a valid constitutional republic, one diarist in particular wants to use every trick in the book to subvert the very process that the Constitution espouses with a parliamentary trick…in this case, to confirm, permanently, a Supreme Court justice with a Democratic majority.

What, you say? We currently have a majority in the senate, and will continue to do so in the next Congress? Correctamundo, my elucidate friend! But you are neglecting one fine point: Senators need to be sworn in by the Senate President or his/her deputized delegate. And this Daily Kos diarist has outlined the process, which I will summarize in the following steps.

  1. At noon on January 3, 2017, the terms of the current members of the Senate’s Class III will come to an end. At that point, the Senate consists of 66 sitting senators, along with Vice President Joe Biden in his capacity as Senate president, in which role he will serve until January 20th.
  2. Of those 66 senators, 34 are Democrats, 32 are Independents who caucus with the Democrats, and 30 are Republicans.
  3. Now, instead of gavelling out the end of the current (114th) senate and introducing the Senate Majority leader of the new (115th) senate (which is what happened every time before when a new Senate was inaugurated in the past), Biden decides to keep the current (114th) senate open, and chooses to recognize Dick Durbin, who is (at this point) the highest ranking floor leader of the now-current majority Democratic Party (Chuch Schumer is not majority leader until the 115th Congress is in session), and grant him the floor for opening remarks.
  4. Durbin calls for a special vote, needing only majority passage, to create a temporary cloture rule that will allow for continuance of unfinished business with only majority needed for passage of this unfinished business.
  5. Having received confirmation on the ruling by the current Democratic majority, he states that he has received the message from Senate President Biden, through President Obama, to renominate Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Note the gymnastics involved here: Although Garland’s nomination is still valid through the end of the Senate term barring an Obama retraction, his nomination technically expires at the adjournment sine die of the current (114th) Congress. That is why the “message” has to be stated to, in effect, renominate Garland, even though this is the “same” (114th) Senate.
  6. Shenanigans follow, but if Democrats stay firm to procedure and refuse to yield the floor in which any Republican steps in and ends this charade by holding the floor, the vote must come out.
  7. Garland passes with a 36-30 vote (I don’t imagine any Republican passing Garland regardless of how they might do in a conventional session), and is permanently seated as the latest justice on the US Supreme Court.
  8. Once the vote is done, the “old business” is finished, and the 114th Congress is officially finished, and the normal swearing in can continue.

I stated that “shenanigans” follow above somewhat facetiously. To put it mildly, expect Ted Cruz, Jeff Sessions, and maybe even many RINO’s to react with bombastic aplomb─and deservedly so. I’ll be honest: there are so many mechanizations that have to occur for this to even have a chance of passing that I just can’t see it, at least in a normal, rational universe. And yet, the Democrats are at their wits’ end, so I don’t know what can happen.

If any RedStater can clarify any problems with this reasoning, please do so. But just to be clear: Daily Kos itself is so convinced this can happen that they even started a petition to get this going. Unreal.