- Published: Friday, 25 September 2020 07:00
In the next day or so, President Trump will nominate someone to take the seat on the SCOTUS vacated by Ruth Bader-Ginsburg on her death. There will be no hearings to vet the nominee, it will likely go straight to a floor vote and enough Senators have already expressed support to make sure the nominee is confirmed.
And this is all the Democrats fault. Let me retrace the steps so it makes sense.
Cloture is a procedural term used by the Senate to force the end of discussion on a bill. It's covered in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 5, Clause 2: "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings..." Cloture is not a vote on the bill, just a vote to end the debate and send it to the final vote. It is used to prevent or end a filibuster. Since the Senate was first constituted, cloture was set at a supermajority of 2/3rds or 67 votes. This was to force both parties to work together to accomplish the objective.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a contentious piece of legislation. Southern Democrats held a filibuster that lasted sixty days. It lasted that long because it was difficult to get enough votes to force Cloture. Due to that bill, in 1974 the Senate voted to change the Cloture votes from a 2/3rds majority to a 3/5ths majority, or from 67 votes to 60. There was also an amendment for a "Two-track" system, meaning that a filibustered bill would not bring the entire Senate to a halt.
In the late 1990's and early 2000's the Democrats (who almost always vote as a monolithic block, very few "rebels") started taking advantage of the narrow Republican majority by threatening a filibuster on anything the Democrats didn't like. Since the Republicans didn't have the votes to invoke Cloture (and they wouldn't get any Democrat support), it was either hold firm and let the bill die, or the Republicans had to negotiate with the Democrats to change the bill until both sides could agree on it. Frankly, this is how it should be to prevent the "Tyranny of the majority" as referenced by our Founding Fathers. It is also the polite way of doing things.
Well, that came to an end in 2013, when a Democrat-controlled Senate decided to eliminate Cloture for Cabinet appointees and non-SCOTUS judgeships. A simple Democrat majority could now enact the "tyranny of the majority" and ram those nominations through and Republicans couldn't do a thing about it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "You'll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think." When Republicans got control of the Senate again a few years later, they changed the rules, eliminating Cloture for SCOTUS nominations.
Then came Kavanaugh. A man of impeccable character and unquestioned reputation. Who was accused by a woman who appeared out of nowhere and accused Kavanaugh of a crime thirty years prior when he was a teenager. She never filed a police report and remained silent as the Senate vetted and confirmed him for lower federal judgeships. The people she listed as witnesses to this act publicly stated that they don't remember the party in question where this assault allegedly occurred. Kavanaugh had over fifty female staffers and clerks who had worked with him over the years publicly state that there wasn't even a hint of impropriety from him.
Kavanaugh could never have been convicted in a court of law for the crime he was accused of, but he was accused, tried, found guilty and executed in the court of public opinion based on one fact: he was nominated by Donald Trump.
In the end, thanks to crybaby Democrats who throw a temper tantrum every time they get told "No," from now on it will be likely that any such votes will be held, up or down, by the majority party without giving the minority party a say at all.
Think of this as a street fight. Both sides initially agree to "Marquess of Queensberry" rules, but then one guy pulls out a pipe instead of his fists and whacks the other guy. Later on in the fight, when the pipe guy is knocked down, he drops the pipe and says, "can we go back to the original rules?" What do YOU think would be the prudent course of action? Drop the issue, be sporting and continue to go by the rules, or take that pipe and beat the cheater with it hard enough that the cheater will never think about cheating again?
We must not have beat them enough yet. Senator Chuck Schumer has publicly stated that if the Democrats gain power of all three branches of government, they will a) grant statehood to Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and maybe even create the State of Jefferson (splitting Oregon into two states). This will give the Senate six more Democrat Senators, as all of the named areas are deep Blue territory. Once they have done that, they will "pack the court," which means increasing the size of SCOTUS from nine Justices to at least fifteen, then appoint hard Leftist Justices that would have made RVG blush to make sure that any strict Constitutionalist Justices are in the minority for at least the next century.
Until Democrats show contrition, apologize and reinstate the 3/5ths Cloture rule while they are the majority, the Republicans will play by the Democrats rules, which is to say there are no rules.Write comment (0 Comments)