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Let the SCOTUS brawl commence

[This post was originally written by BZ at Bloviating Zeppelin.]

On Tuesday, January 31st, President Trump revealed the person he will nominate to replace Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away February 13th of last year at a resort in Texas, age 79.

That person is 49-year-old Judge Neil Gorsuch from the 10th Circuit US Court of Appeals. He will be the youngest jurist on the SCOTUS bench if installed, next to 56-year-old Elena Kagan -- a massive plus as Gorsuch could potentially serve for twenty or thirty years.

 

The event was a propitious ceremony enhanced by the presence of Justice Scalia's widow, Maureen Scalia, Trump exhibited class and respect.

Gorsuch's downfall in the eyes of Demorats and Leftists is that he views the Constitution and Bill of Rights as documents that mean what they say. Judge Gorsuch could be considered a "strict constructionist" as he does not attempt to read into these papers facts or statements that aren't present.

He believes in the rule of law and has crafted his decisions in terms of the law itself and not any changing set of policy preferences. The New York Times quantifies Gorsuch as "an echo of Scalia in philosophy and style." I say: Gorsuch will be a dogged defender of the Constitution.

Truly, however, it doesn't make much difference what the background of Gorsuch may be, as the Demorats have stated in no uncertain terms that they will block and obstruct any person that Trump nominates. Any person. From Politico.com:

Senate Dems will filibuster Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

by Burgess Everett It will be only the second time in modern history that the Senate has mounted a filibuster against a nominee. Senate Democrats are going to try to bring down President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick no matter who the president chooses to fill the current vacancy. With Trump prepared to announce his nominee on Tuesday evening, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in an interview on Monday morning that he will filibuster any pick that is not Merrick Garland and that the vast majority of his caucus will oppose Trump’s nomination. That means Trump's nominee will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate. "This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat," Merkley said in an interview. "We will use every lever in our power to stop this."
Butthurt when the GOP insisted that a lame-duck president in the form of Obama not be able to force his own nomination so close to the election of a new president, the Demorats have pulled out all their knives and guns, and are spoiling for a fight.

An interesting note was made by Senate Minority Leader Little Chuckie Schumer, providing insight into Demorat thinking:
"The burden is on Judge Neil Gorsuch to prove himself to be within the legal mainstream."
"Legal mainstream"? In terms of the Demorats and Leftists the legal mainstream would include hot-and-cold running abortions on demand, a nation overfilled with Syrians and Muslims uninterested in assimilation, and turning the US into a carbon copy of the European Union.

Not once have the Demorats mentioned the rule of law is inviolate and that the Constitution and Bill of Rights must be interpreted as written.
It’s a move that will prompt a massive partisan battle over Trump’s nominee and could lead to an unraveling of the Senate rules if Merkley is able to get 41 Democrats to join him in a filibuster. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also reminded her Twitter followers on Sunday night that Supreme Court nominees can still be blocked by the Senate minority, unlike all other executive and judicial nominees. Any senator can object to swift approval of a nominee and require a supermajority. Asked directly whether he would do that, Merkley replied: “I will definitely object to a simple majority” vote.
The question: when and by whom will the so-called "nuclear option" be pulled? Here's one interesting point that very much needs to be considered by the Demorats:
Different lawmaker are sure to have different priorities, especially since a number of Democratic senators are facing re-election in 2018 in states that Trump won. And many  Democrats may ultimately stop short of declaring an all-out war on Trump’s Supreme Court pick, even if they express concern over his nomination and ultimately oppose it.
Translated: there are close to 200 seats up for re-election shortly, and Demorats have to ask themselves just how much they really want to be seen as obstructionists in the eyes of populist voters. Plainly, here is the crux of the biscuit:
Part of what raises the stakes of the Supreme Court fight is the fact that under current Senate rules, Democrats have the ability to initiate a filibuster, which would require 60 votes to overcome. Since there are only 52 Senate Republicans, that could prevent confirmation absent Democratic defections. It is possible, however, that Senate Republicans could respond to that scenario by invoking the so-called nuclear option, which would allow the GOP to override any objections with 51 votes.
Tactics and politics.

As opposed to the time under George Bush when the GOP owned the Triumvirate of Power, that is to day, the White House, Senate and House of Representatives (Republicans controlled both houses of Congress for a total of four years, from 2003 to 2007) and quaked with fear over utilizing said power, it would appear to me that a Trump presidency certainly won't be timid, docile or very conciliatory to Demorats.

The Demorats are already boycotting hearings to vote on nominations for Trump cabinet members and are forcing delays on voting for Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Tactics and politics.

Many considerations to be made in terms of short game and long ball. If either side pops off big time over the very first SCOTUS nomination -- and yes, there will be more, perhaps two to three more vacancies coming in the next four years, I believe -- where does that leave them in the future?

Do Demorats make their stand here, at the very first SCOTUS nomination as a replacement for Scalia, or do they make it down the line when the next nomination will most certainly change the complexion of the Supreme Court?

Schumer predicts the GOP won't have the 60 votes. McCain and Graham and other Republican squishes come into play. "Then they'll have to make a choice. Change the rules. It's going to be very hard for them to change the rules because there are a handful of Republicans who believe in the institution of the Senate and don't change the rules."

So will the GOP be its own worst enemy? Will they unify and coalesce? Remember, in terms of Merrick Garland -- because facts are facts -- the Garland nomination was in the middle of a presidential election year, not at the beginning of the term. The Senate had not confirmed a vacancy in the middle of a presidential election in 80 years.

Clinton had two SCOTUS nominees confirmed in the beginning of his first term without a GOP filibuster. Obama had likewise two SCOTUS nominees confirmed in the beginning of his first term without a GOP filibuster.

No matter, the fireworks, hate and discontent is underway.

The Demorats will filibuster.

But: will the GOP pull the Big Red Handle in response?

BZ

P.S.
Notice to the GOP, specifically John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): you cross the aisle at your own peril. This is now open political blood sport. Get your asses in line.

Collins and Murkowski already voted against Davos as it appears they both received thousands of dollars from teachers' unions.


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