Out of touch? Franken and Klobuchar oppose Gorsuch while even the Star Tribune recommends confirmation
The Star Tribune editorial headline, in another concession to sensibility and moderation, reads “Gorsuch has earned Senate confirmation,” but Minnesota’s two U.S. senators lurch further left as they announce they’ll vote “No” and ponder joining a Democrat filibuster. Here is what the Star Tribune (and most of the country) sees in Judge Gorsuch and what Senators Franken and Klobuchar are apparently blind to:
Based on his credentials alone, Judge Neil Gorsuch should have had a relatively easy path to confirmation as a Supreme Court justice. He is a well-regarded, deeply experienced jurist who has clerked for two Supreme Court justices, in addition to serving a decade on the appeals court. …
Every nominee has flaws. But there are significant pluses to Gorsuch as well. His key rulings show a healthy skepticism about the reach of government and law enforcement, and he does not seem inclined to be overly deferential. He has shown keen attention to the value of procedural rules. Moreover, Trump did campaign in part on the notion that he would replace Scalia with someone like-minded. Voters chose him knowing that.
The court needs to be brought back to its full complement. Gorsuch has passed the key competency tests and should be confirmed.
Trump’s pick of Judge Gorsuch was the most transparent and democratically backed Supreme Court pick in U.S. history. Before the election Trump released a list of judges he would choose from and CNN’s exit poll showed that supreme court appointments were important to 70% of voters, and those voters who considered it the “most important factor” gave their vote to Trump by a 56% to 41% margin.
Democrats gave us a new word in the late 1980s. “Bork” now means to attack a nominee unfairly through a harsh campaign of vilification. The good news, thanks to Harry Reid, is that the attempted Borking of Judge Gorsuch is not going to succeed. The “Reid rule” allows the Senate to change its rules and precedents by a simple majority vote, not a vote of 67 senators as was required before. Therefore, Republicans will be able to halt any attempted Democrat filibuster. Even the Star Tribune acknowledges the legitimacy of using the “Reid rule” to end such a filibuster:
Faced with a filibuster, Republicans may have little recourse other than invoking the so-called “nuclear option,” which would allow them to move the Gorsuch confirmation on a simple majority vote.
It’s hard to understand what Senators Franken and Klobuchar, and the Senate Democrats can possibly be thinking. After having the “Reid rule” blow up in their face, they are now trying to obstruct a popular and eminently qualified nominee by mounting a futile filibuster. And once this new simple majority precedent is established, it will be even easier to confirm Trump’s next pick, which will likely have an even bigger impact on the direction of the High Court.
Peter Zeller is Director of Operations at Center of the American Experiment.