What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 5, 2017

The Senate, Neil Gorsuch, and GOP Hypocrisy

From her speech on the Senate floor, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said:
Mr. President, it is clear that President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, does not have enough support in the Senate to be confirmed under our rules. When a Supreme Court nominee does not have enough support to be confirmed, the solution is to pick a new nominee. But Republicans in the Senate are threatening to pursue a different path - they are considering breaking the Senate rules to force this nominee onto the Supreme Court anyway.

I’ll be honest - I think it’s crazy that we are considering confirming a lifetime Trump nominee to the Supreme Court at a moment when the President’s campaign is under the cloud of an active, ongoing FBI counterintelligence investigation that could result in indictments and appeals that will go all the way to the Supreme Court-so that Trump’s nominee could be the deciding vote on whether Trump or his supporters broke the law and will be held accountable. That is nuts, and I believe we should tap the brakes on any nominee until this investigation is concluded.
Only a short time ago when a different president nominated a different judge to the Supreme Court, the GOP senators were quite reluctant to fulfill their constitutional duties to "advise and consent" for one simple reason: they didn't like where they were in the calendar.

(Actually, that was just an excuse: they'd already agreed 8 or so years before not to allow that president any political successes.)

Now, we have a president who's presidential campaign is under some serious scrutiny:
With just two sentences on Monday, FBI Director James Comey cast a long, dark shadow over the presidency of Donald Trump and the campaign that resulted in his election.

“I’ve been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” Comey said in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. “That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
Then the GOP balked over the calendar.  Now they're perfectly fine with possible treason (as long as it's one of their own).  If you think that's silly just switch the parties.  Imagine if Clinton had won and then within a few months was under FBI investigation and then nominated someone for the Supreme Court.  What would Mitch McConnell be doing then?

See how that goes?

Finally, from Josh Marshall:
As Rep. Adam Schiff put it yesterday on Twitter, Mitch McConnell's historically unprecedented and constitutionally illegitimate decision to block President Obama from nominating anyone a year before he left office was the real nuclear option. The rest is simply fallout. Senate Republicans had the power to do this. But that doesn't make it legitimate. The seat was stolen. Therefore Gorsuch's nomination is itself illegitimate since it is the fruit of the poisoned tree.

Democrats likely have no power to finally prevent this corrupt transaction. It is nonetheless important that they not partake in the corruption. Treating this as a normal nomination would do just that.
But it'll probably happen anyway.  They always get their way.

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