WaPo Fact Checker: Democrats '60 Vote Standard' For SCOTUS Nominees Is Completely Bogus

You mean the Democrats are not honest about the process when it comes to confirming Supreme Court justices? I am shocked! As shocked as I was when I walked into a casino and found out there was gambling going on in that establishment!

WaPo highlights some quotes from prominent Democrats:

Justice Neil Gorsuch “should have a hearing and he should meet the voting standard that Supreme Court nominees are held to of 60 votes, a standard that was met by Elena Kagan as well as Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s choices.”

— Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), remarks on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Feb. 1, 2017

“If this nominee cannot meet the same standard that Republicans insisted upon for President Obama’s nominee, 60 votes in the Senate, then the problem lies not with the Senate but with the nominee.”

— Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), remarks on the Senate floor, Feb. 1

There are two ways of looking at this. One is they seem to be saying that a Supreme Court nominee requires 60 votes to be confirmed. We know that’s not true. Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were confirmed 52-48 and 58-42, respectively.

Others may know they’re talking about ending debate (invoking cloture) which requires 60 votes but they’re not even being honest about that. 

From the Post:

Filibusters – and cloture votes – are rather rare in deliberations over a Supreme Court nominee.

The last Supreme Court nominee who faced a cloture vote was Samuel A. Alito Jr. in 2006. He won it handily, 72-25, though the members who voted against ending debate included Schumer, Durbin, Hillary Clinton and Obama. Later, as president, Obama said he regretted his vote. (He apparently had been persuaded by aides that he would not be viable candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination if he did not vote against ending debate.)

Democrats are being slippery with their language. Sixty votes is not “a standard” for Supreme Court confirmations, as two of the current justices on the court did not meet that supposed standard.

There is a separate issue of whether Republicans will have to invoke cloture to end a filibuster — and whether Gorsuch could meet the necessary 60 votes to proceed to a confirmation vote. In Supreme Court nominations, that’s a rarely used parliamentary tactic that is certainly available to Democrats to establish a threshold for confirmation. But it’s not “a standard.”

The Post awarded them two Pinocchios. I would say three is a better rating but at least they’re calling them out.