McConnell: ‘I’ll file cloture on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch’ (Updated)
“The last time a Republican president nominated someone to the Supreme Court, Democrats tried to filibuster him too.”
As Senate Democrats continue to politicize the confirmation of Trump Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, Senate Majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell announced he’ll file cloture Tuesday.
Democrats have promised to filibuster the Gorsuch confirmation vote. Cloture, if passed, would limit the filibuster.
During floor debate Tuesday, McConnell said:
“Later today, due to the threat of an unprecedented partisan filibuster, I’ll file cloture on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. It should be upsetting to everyone that our colleagues across the aisle have brought the Senate to this new low, and on such an impressive nominee with such broad bipartisan support.
“Judge Gorsuch is independent, he’s fair, he’s got one of the most impressive resumes we’ve ever seen, and he’s earned the highest possible rating from the group the Democratic Leader calls the ‘gold standard’ for evaluating judicial nominations.
“No one seriously disputes his sterling credentials to serve on the Court. And yet, in the Judiciary Committee, Democrats just withheld support for him. On the floor, Democrats say they’ll launch a partisan filibuster against him — something Republicans have never done. No one in the Senate Republican Conference has ever voted to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee. Not one Republican has ever done that.
“Later today, colleagues will continue to debate the nomination of Judge Gorsuch. They’ll discuss how completely unprecedented it would be for Democrats to actually follow through on this filibuster threat — to actually block an up-or-down vote for this nominee even though a bipartisan majority of the Senate supports his nomination — and what the negative consequences would be for the Senate if they succeed.
“I’ll be listening with interest. I hope Senators in both parties will listen as well. ‘There has never been,’ as the New York Times and others reported last week, ‘a successful partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee.’ Never in the history of our country. Not once in the nearly 230-year history of the Senate.
“The last time a Republican president nominated someone to the Supreme Court, Democrats tried to filibuster him too. That was Samuel Alito in 2006. Cooler heads ultimately prevailed. Even former President Obama, who as a Senator participated in that effort, now admits that he regrets joining that filibuster effort.
“Democrats are now being pushed by Far-Left interest groups into doing something truly detrimental to this body and to our country. They seem to be hurtling toward the abyss this time, and trying to take the Senate with them. They need to reconsider. Perhaps they’ll recall their own words from the last time they flirted with a partisan Supreme Court filibuster.
“Back then, the current top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee said she opposed attempts to filibuster Supreme Court nominees. ‘[Just because the nominee] is a man I might disagree with,’ she said, ‘That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be on the court.’ She said the filibuster should be reserved for something truly outrageous.
McConnell reminded Democrats that historically, confirming Supreme Court nominees has been a bipartisan process:
“When President Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer, I voted to confirm him. When President Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I voted to confirm her. I thought it was the right thing to do. After all, he won the election. He was the president. The president gets to appoint Supreme Court justices. When President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, I led my party in working to ensure they received an up-or-down vote — not a filibuster. We were in exactly the same position that our Democratic friends are today—no filibuster. We thought it was the right thing to do.
“It’s not because we harbored illusions that we’d usually agree with these nominees of Democrat presidents. Listen to this, Madame President, we even protested when then-Majority Leader Reid tried to file cloture on the Kagan nomination. We talked him out of it. We said it wasn’t necessary. And Jeff Sessions, the current Attorney General was the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee at the time. Jeff Sessions talking Harry Reid out of filing cloture because it wasn’t necessary. We did not want even the pretense of a possibility of a filibuster to be on the table.
“Well, it’s quite a different story from what we’re seeing today. But this is where our Democratic colleagues have taken us. Will a partisan minority of the Senate really prevent the Senate’s pro-Gorsuch, bipartisan majority from confirming him? Will they really subject this eminently qualified nominee to the first successful partisan filibuster in American history?
His full remarks can be viewed here:
Should Democrats refuse to relent, McConnell indicated he would consider the nuclear option — a rule change requiring only a simple majority — to ensure Gorsuch is confirmed.
Motion to proceed to debate passed:
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Time for the republicans to slash and burn the democrat’s.
Take no prisoners.
Once Gorsuch is confirmed they need to get filling all the other openings on the federal bench.
Thank you President Trump for a great nomination.
I value a filibuster the same way I value “intelligence services” and surveillance: used properly, they are wonderful assets.
The key phrase there is “used properly“. The Dems are (and have been for quite some time) fully committed to one thing and one thing only: stonewalling and blocking anything a GOP President or majority tries to do. There is no attempt at crossing the aisle, no attempt at compromise, no attempt to work together.
No diplomacy among the parties. Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell may as well be Satan and the Anti-Christ (respectively) for all the Dems are willing to strike a deal.
Off the top of my head, the only other group who is consistently this obstinate, is the Palestinians/Hamas when it comes to negotiating with Israel.
That, I believe, is the real, long-term casualty: the loss of dignity and statesmanship. And the Dems are doing it to themselves.
Please, please, please, Democrats. Don’t take McConnell’s advice.
The turtleman said, “Well, it’s quite a different story from what we’re seeing today. But this is where our Democratic colleagues have taken us…”
1. Stop calling the democrats “colleagues” since they clearly are not so. They’re adversaries PERIOD!
2. The GOP’s role of voting to confirm Sontameyor and Kagen confirmed the Republican leader’s RINO status as neither of Obama’s nominees were constitutionalists.
So the question remains, will we see an Associate Justice Gorsuch Friday evening?
“I’ll gladly file cloture on Tuesday for a hamburger today” –Wimpy McConnell
For all his faults, it is because of McConnell’s backbone last year that we are having this conversation today.
Let’s keep his feet to the fire of breaking the filibuster for sure, but the fact we don’t have Justice Merrick Garland is because of McConnell.
Republicans did something even more extreme, which was to prevent Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, from even getting a hearing, much less a vote. Indeed, they said they wouldn’t consider any nomination made by Obama. There was even talk of not considering any nomination — even if Democrats had won the 2016 presidential election.
Historically, the reason filibusters have rarely been used for Supreme Court nominations is because Presidents have worked with the opposition party to avoid such a filibuster.
Joe Biden, in 1992 as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that Pres. HW Bush should not make a Supreme Court appointment until after the Presidential election of that year in case he failed to secure the Office of President. He further said that the Democrat majority of the Senate should withhold action on any nomination until the election was resolved. And, Ruth Bader Ginzberg was nominated to fill that SC vacancy in 1993, by President Clinton.
So, the Republican Senate followed that precedent in 2016. What’s good for the goose, etc.
Mac45: And, Ruth Bader Ginzberg was nominated to fill that SC vacancy in 1993, by President Clinton.
There was no “that SC vacancy” when Biden spoke. Ginsburg was nominated by Clinton after White retired.
Republicans were simply following the Biden Rule. You knew that, right? We will soon see the Reid Rule applied to end the ability to filibusters of USSC nominees.
Make room on the court for Ted Cruz and William Pryor!
MTED: Republicans were simply following the Biden Rule.
There is no such rule. Furthermore, during Biden’s speech, he also indicated he would work with the President if the President worked with Democrats at finding an acceptable nominee in order to sidestep the partisanship of the election season.
Well if you ignore facts and history you might be right. In the real world however, you’re just demonstrating partisan ignorance.
“Republicans did something even more extreme, which was to prevent Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, from even getting a hearing, much less a vote. Indeed, they said they wouldn’t consider any nomination made by Obama.”
Wow, that IS extreme! Nothing similar has ever happened before … unless you count Senator Chuck Schumer’s statement back in 2007 that no “lame duck” President should ever get to appoint a Justice to the bench! Sauce for the goose, and all that.
Do you suppose Schumer even remembers he said that? Do you suppose he’s hoping that no one else will?
Walker Evans: unless you count Senator Chuck Schumer’s statement back in 2007 that no “lame duck” President should ever get to appoint a Justice to the bench!
That’s not what he said.
Historically, the reason filibusters have rarely been used for Supreme Court nominations is because Presidents have worked with the opposition party to avoid such a filibuster.
And then 2016 came, and then-Pres. Obama did NOT try to “work with the opposition party”. Instead, he tried to ram far-leftist Merrick Garland down the Senate’s throat. He shamed, he ridiculed, he came darn-near to threatening (and honestly, I’m pleasantly surprised that the GOP didn’t cave). What he did NOT do was attempt to compromise.
The GOP simply decided they weren’t going to play a game that was rigged against them.
And their inaction is hardly unprecedented; Democrats have done the same. (The claim otherwise was given three Pinocchios.)
Personally, where the Constitution says a President makes judicial nominations “with the Advice and Consent of the Senate,” a unequivocal answer of, “No, out of the question, and we won’t consider it,” is not a dereliction of duty so much as simply giving an answer the President doesn’t like.
Look at it this way: If your eight-year-old comes to you demanding to have SpongeBob Squarepants tattooed all across his/her back, are you required to consider it and talk it over with your wife before saying “No”? Is it a dereliction of your parental duty to go with your gut response and say, “No way, not going to happen,” without giving it serious thought? Or is your unilateral “No” just you being a good parent?
Instead, he tried to ram far-leftist Merrick Garland down the Senate’s throat.
Come now, there’s no need to lie. Garland is certainly not a far leftist, indeed he’s just about the most acceptable nomination a Democrat president could make, and had 0bama nominated him in a normal year he would have been confirmed without difficulty. But 0bama would never have nominated him in a normal year, because he’s too moderate and too old. The only reason he nominated him in the first place was to embarrass the Republicans, knowing they wouldn’t confirm him.
Zachriel, by definition a majority cannot filibuster. A filibuster, again by definition, is an act of piracy (that’s what the word means), the minority holding the senate hostage by extending the debate long after they’ve run out of things to say. This has never been done to prevent a supreme court nominee with majority support from being confirmed. (Fortas did not have majority support, and the vote against cloture was not a filibuster because the genuine debate was not yet over.)
In Garland’s case the majority exercised their undisputed and completely legitimate right to control the senate agenda, and declined to waste the senate’s time and resources on phony hearings and debate on a nomination they’d already decided not to consent to. There can be no comparison of this to a filibuster, and it certainly can’t be worse than one. The argument against it rests entirely on the baseless claim that the senate has some sort of duty, completely unmentioned in the constitution, to formally debate and vote on every nomination the president makes, overriding the majority’s right to set the agenda according to its own priorities.
Thank you Milhouse, I could not have put it better myself. The Myth that the Majority party is someone required to give a hearing to any nominee is false.
Also, if the “Nuclear Option” becomes standard and only 51 votes are needed to confirm a nominee, then expect to see many more nominee’s not get hearings.
Milhouse: by definition a majority cannot filibuster.
Nor did we indicate that Republicans filibustered Garland.
Milhouse: (Fortas did not have majority support, and the vote against cloture was not a filibuster because the genuine debate was not yet over.)
Yes, it was a filibuster, and the cloture vote was 45-43, a majority. Because the cloture vote didn’t reach 67 votes, however, the debate wasn’t over — by definition. Fortas withdrew from consideration.
Milhouse: In Garland’s case the majority exercised their undisputed and completely legitimate right to control the senate agenda
It is certainly within their power. It is within the power of the majority to never consider any nominee for any post of an opposition president. Is that the standard you advocate?
“It is within the power of the majority to never consider any nominee for any post of an opposition president. Is that the standard you advocate?”
No one has to advocate it, that is and has been standard set forth in the constitution.
Gremlin1974: No one has to advocate it, that is and has been standard set forth in the constitution.
You are confusing standard with power.
Except you don’t get to nominate a Supreme Court Justice in your final year in office. That one sits with the Demicrats as that’s the way it rolls.
Zachriel, you leftists are such hypocrites.
Here’s a comical example of that fact.
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), 3 April, 2017, to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“WARNER: Wolf, what I’m saying is, if you can’t get 60 votes on a senator, what you should do is not change the rules. You should change the candidate.”
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), 21 November 2013 voting to change the rules, not the “candidate,” and steamroll those uppity Republicans who wouldn’t let the Senate Dems get to 60.
It’s just so unfair when the Republicans don’t know their place, isn’t it Zachriel? I mean, here they are doing to the Democrats exactly what Harry Reid said the Democrats would do to the Republicans had Hillary Clinton won the election.
“Harry Reid’s Parting Shot: Dems Will Nuke The Filibuster For SCOTUS
…’I really do believe that I have set the Senate so when I leave, we’re going to be able to get judges done with a majority. It takes only a simple majority anymore. And, it’s clear to me that if the Republicans try to filibuster another circuit court judge, but especially a Supreme Court justice, I’ve told ’em how and I’ve done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It’ll have to be done again,’ Reid told TPM in a wide-ranging interview about his time in the Senate and his legacy.
‘They mess with the Supreme Court, it’ll be changed just like that in my opinion,’ Reid said, snapping his fingers together. ‘So I’ve set that up. I feel very comfortable with that.’”
The Democrats have made it abundantly clear that the filibuster exists only to protect Democrats if they’re in the minority. And then they expect Republicans to consider it sacred, as if Moses brought it back down from Mt. Sinai carved on a stone tablet.
But if the Republicans have the temerity to think they can use it when they’re in the minority, the Dems will put the Republicans in their place by changing the rules so they can steamroll them on SCOTUS nominations.
It’s like the Biden rule. How dare the Republicans use it.
Or, even better, the Schumer rule.
“Sounds like pretty good advice, huh? Thankfully, Chuck Schumer has gone on record on this issue, insisting to the American Constitution Society that the Senate not only has the right but the duty to block Supreme Court nominees from a lame-duck President.
…Of course Schumer aimed this at George W. Bush, but note that this speech took place in mid-2007, when Bush still had 18 months left in his presidency.”
And here you are, parroting Schumer’s talking points that refusing to give any Obama SCOTUS nomination a hearing after the presidential campaign has started is the worst thing EVAH to happen in the Senate.
Thanks for the belly laugh.
“Thanks for the belly laugh.”
And the progs pay him to make the laughable comments…
Arminius: Chuck Schumer has gone on record on this issue, insisting to the American Constitution Society that the Senate not only has the right but the duty to block Supreme Court nominees from a lame-duck President.
Except that’s not what he said.
Oh, that’s exactly what he said if you listened to him. The “extraoridnary circumstances” Schumer is talking about amounts to the GOP President stepping aside and let Schumer pick the judge. But if the judge comes from the lame-duck President, i.e. is the President’s choice of judge, Schumer will block the judge’s confirmation.
That’s what “mainstream” means in Schumer-speak; a leftist in his own image.
It’s the same deal he wants now. Schumer won’t filibuster any judge Trump nominates as long as he gets to choose him.
Arminius: Oh, that’s exactly what he said if you listened to him.
Your claim is still false.
Arminius: Schumer is talking about amounts to the GOP President stepping aside and let Schumer pick the judge.
Which has nothing to do with the last year of a president’s term. Rather, the tradition has been to find a consensus nominee so as to avoid a minority filibuster.
I have really warmed to the idea of what George Will suggested last week (which is a rehash of something I had read earlier about the more traditional filibuster).
In essence, he suggested to do away with the current “filibuster” – both the judicial one and the legislative one. Instead, revert to the way it used to be until about 50 years ago when a filibuster really had to be a filibuster – same guy speaking for hours on end. Instead of that, we’re stuck with this administrative filibuster that does not make it painful for those trying to use it and makes it impossible to break.
This would seem to help mollify the traditionalists in the Senate who might be resistant to changing the rules. Just change them back to what they used to be!