WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and I stood alone in a Senate office hallway a year ago, moments after Senate Republicans nuked the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees in order to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
“The Senate has been damaged to a degree that it hasn’t been in its history, ”
McCain told me then. “Over in the House of Representatives, when you’re in the majority, you control everything. We are now headed in that direction. And that is not democracy.”
McCain’s concern was that future nominees to the highest court in the land would be “more radical” because a simple majority could now ram someone through who agreed with those members’ point of view.
The court would certainly hence end up being a lot more partial, as well as the country would certainly shed confidence in its integrity and in the regulation of law.
Now, with the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the court, a Republican president and GOP-controlled Senate have a clear path to confirming his replacement without any Democratic votes.
Democrats are normally disturbed regarding Kennedy’s retired life as well as are discovering methods to possibly delay or obstruct verification of Kennedy’s substitute by the Us senate up until after the autumn political elections.
There is also talk of packing the Supreme Court — increasing the number of justices beyond nine to give liberals a way to claw back some leverage if Democrats win back Congress and eventually the White House.
However the history of the filibuster really demonstrates exactly how attempting to video game the guidelines for partisan benefit typically develops end results that are poor for American freedom and also later on backfire against those who made the changes.
When Republicans eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations last year, there was much gnashing of teeth and condemnations of the so-called nuclear option.
And before that, in 2013, Democrats invoked their own “nuclear” option, scrapping the Senate filibuster for the lower courts. But much of the commentary lacked reflection about the filibuster rule beyond partisan outrage. And in fact, there is a robust school of thought that says the filibuster was long overdue to be either diminished or eliminated.