From The Guardian…
- Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed as the ninth supreme court justice this week, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said on Sunday, adding: “Exactly how that happens will be up to our Democratic colleagues.”
- Speaking to Fox News Sunday, the Kentucky Republican did not say he would invoke the “nuclear option” to override a looming Democratic filibuster. But he did say the week to come “will end with confirmation”.
- Republicans, who hold 52 Senate seats, need 60 votes to confirm President Trump’s pick. If Democrats maintain their opposition, Republicans are likely to turn to the “nuclear option”, by which Senate rules are changed to allow confirmation on a simple majority.
- Democratic opposition to Gorsuch is rooted in the treatment by Republicans of Merrick Garland, the judge nominated by Barack Obama to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.
- Senate Republicans did not schedule a hearing for Garland, arguing with at best shaky precedent that presidents in their last year in the White House do not get to make supreme court appointments.
- Gorsuch, 49 and a federal appeals court judge based in Denver, has met more than 70 senators and sat through confirmation hearings. If confirmed, he would restore the 5-4 tilt of the court in favor of conservative interpretations of the constitution.
As an Independent unaffiliated voter who averages out to be Centrist – similar to Libertarians, I’m 60% in favor of Gorsuch. I’m 30% opposed. I’m 10% uncertain.
I believe there is a 60% chance of a filibuster by Democrats to trigger the “nuclear option” by Republicans. I believe it will mainly be as revenge for Merrick Garland being snubbed.
I believe Mitch McConnell is right that Gorsuch will be approved by end of this week.
Then what happens? How long will it be until his participation impacts American lives? Time will tell. It might partly depend on what President Trump does or does not do with various issues this year, and how much the Russia issue disrupts his efforts.
I believe the Republicans are divided into five levels now:
- Moderate (or Centrist) Republicans
- Trump Republicans
- Traditional Republicans like the Bush family
- Conservative Republicans
- Extreme Far Right Conservatives
I believe Democrats are divided into six levels slightly different:
- Moderate (or Centrist) Democrats
- Hillary Clinton Democrats with Barack Obama Democrats
- Bernie Sanders Socialist Democrats
- Traditional Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden
- Liberal Progressive Democrats
- Extreme Far Left Liberals
These tie in with a variety of issues, some of which might be addressed by the Supreme Court in the future.
I believe what’s needed is an alliance between Moderate Democrats and Moderate Republicans who are Independents, averaging out to be left-leaning and right-leaning Centrists.
Editorial Article by Jim Lantern
Monday morning – 3 April 2017
+ + +