Supreme Court

They Have The Votes

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It remains to be seen who Trump will nominate to fill the Supreme Court seat former occupied by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but it looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already has the votes lined up for it.

Because Senator Mitt Romney has no actual standards he's willing to enforce rather than merely state, and because Republicans are united in never living up to their words, the only thing that could stop a nominee is the clock.

From NPR

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, says he will support moving forward with President Trump's upcoming election year nomination to the Supreme Court.

Romney issued a statement Tuesday that he intends "to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the President's nominee, and if the nominee reaches the Senate floor he intends "to vote based upon their qualifications."

Romney's support for moving ahead means that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is all but certain to have the 51 votes he needs to take up the nomination. Just two GOP senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have said they oppose taking up the president's nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a presidential election year.

It speaks volumes that they've already assembled the votes before Trump has even nominated someone.

Republicans have spent a lifetime decrying "activist judges" who "legislate from the bench," but that's precisely why they've already committed to voting for an unknown nominee. They want an activist who will legislate from the bench as long as they rule in a conservative manner.

The nominee could be virtually anyone and have virtually any character flaw; they could even be a drunken rapist (allegedly) as we saw with Brett Kavanaugh, and it won't matter. All that matters is that they'll vote against progressive policies of all stripes from health care to labor and civil rights.

I know they don't care, but Republicans are pushing us into dangerously undemocratic territory. They're compromising the long term integrity of the court and making it more likely that court rulings will be straight up ignored in the future.

And maybe they should be. If a conservative court -- most of whose members were appointed by Republicans presidents who didn't even win the popular vote themselves -- rules that certain rights or regulations are illegal, it may be time for Democratic states to consider their own Tenth Amendment movement.

Now that McConnell has the votes, that doesn't necessarily mean he has the time to confirm someone in the next five weeks, but it's possible and there's not much Democrats can do to stop it. They could theoretically refuse to fund the government next week, but it's not clear if that would stop the Senate or if that would even be politically astute. Winning the election is the most important thing now because that's the only way Democrats will gain the power to start fixing things. I do not claim to have any answers aside from winning.

  • Draxiar

    There are a few things that can be done to hold up the confirmation and Romney isn’t a yes vote yet. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the Romney logic of voting to remove trump from the presidency and then saying he should be given the chance to place a Justice. Unless he’s going to set things up to knock them down though I don’t figure him being that type of person.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Republicans are pushing us into dangerously undemocratic territory.

    You make it sound like something yet to come. As if they haven’t already done it three years ago.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Just two GOP senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have said they oppose taking up the president’s nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a presidential election year.

    “But now that a nominee has been named and the Senate will be proceeding, I’ll have no problem at all in voting for them.” – Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski within the next week.

  • muselet

    They Have The Votes

    Was there ever any doubt? When push comes to shove, Rs conveniently forget everything that happened before yesterday and fall in line. Every time.

    Hell, Donald Trump could nominate Ivanka and Senate Rs would vote to confirm her.

    Yesterday, Tom Sullivan at Digby’s place quoted at length a Facebook post from political historian Heather Cox Richardson on how Movement Conservatism came to be and how the gradual process of securing equal rights came to be called gasp shock horror “judicial activism.” It’s not a pretty story.

    Alas, things can—and I fear will—get very much worse.

    –alopecia