On April 7th, the Gorsuch vote comes up before the Senate. The Republicans in the Senate are poised to vote unanimously in favor, the Democrats largely against. However, a handful of Democrats – an increasing handful, at that – have declared their intention to filibuster the vote.
At that point, it seems possible that the Republicans will nuke the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees. Gutting the filibuster completely would be a travesty, for sure, as the institution has been used effectively in the past for good causes.
It would seem as though these Democrats are trying to goad Mitch McConnell into using the nuclear option on Senate nominees, though it doesn’t appear to make much sense. What’s the end game here? What do the Democrats have to gain here?
This is about a whole lot more than Donald Trump. The Democrats, convinced that Trump will be a one-term president (if he isn’t impeached and removed from office much sooner), see an opportunity in the future if they play their cards right. For Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, this is his chance to win one of the top prizes the Democrats have sought for years: The Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court is not a conservative court. It is a moderate, at times right-leaning court. Given the rulings on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act, it is clear that there is not a conservative majority that the Democrats have moaned about.
Gorsuch is no threat to that, either. He is simply a replacement for one of the far-right judges, Antonin Scalia. The balance of the court is not in the balance here. However, look at some of the other members of the highest court. They are getting on in age, and it could be that any openings there could shift the court firmly in one direction or another.
That’s where everything comes together, and that is where, I believe, the Democrats are really looking. Sure, Gorsuch gets approved after the filibuster is nuked. But, look down the road. If they are right, and Trump is one term or less, then those potential openings could very well open up when they take the White House back.
It is an incredibly huge gamble, but it is a very lucrative one if it succeeds, and at this point, the party is in such shambles that playing the long game with these kinds of odds are about the only play really left.
The party is being rebuilt with an emphasis on the judicial system, thanks to some strategic fundraising and candidate picking by George Soros and his pals. Advocate district attorneys and other local politicians are being groomed to rise through the ranks. Now, imagine that the judicial system at the local level AND the upper levels are virtually swept with liberal advocates.
Suddenly, the play looks a whole lot more dangerous if it works.
The Democrats are playing the long game, that much is certain. The little attacks on the Trump administration, many of which are for brief flashes in the news cycle before they disappear, are doing everything they can to erode the public’s already low confidence in the Trump Administration. Getting the Republicans to nuke the filibuster now makes it easier for them in the future to load the court.
That is, again, assuming Trump is a one-term-or-less president like many of them (or, at least, their rabid base truly believes). If he isn’t, well then the risk doesn’t pay off. If it did, though, Schumer goes down as the Democratic leader who won the Supreme Court for a generation. That’s a hell of a legacy.
Might be good motive to do this.