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Supreme Fight

Kurt Eichenwald has a good article in Newsweek about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee entitled “Neil Gorsuch is Supremely Qualified, and Must Not Be Confirmed“. The whole article is worth a read, but I can sum up his main point in one paragraph.

The Republicans, in refusing to even hold hearings on Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, are attempting to destroy the Supreme Court’s constitutional role as an independent judiciary. Even worse, when Republicans thought that Clinton was going to be the next president, conservatives talked about blocking any judicial nominee she would nominate. If they get away with this, you can kiss an independent Supreme Court goodbye. Instead, the Supreme Court justices would be no better than Senators for life. If a Republican Senate is only willing to consider a nominee because of politics, then the Supreme court becomes just just another arm of the Republican party, and our democracy dies.

It doesn’t matter if Gorsuch is qualified. Why? Because Garland is every bit as qualified. It is the constitutional obligation of the Senate to “advise and consent”, Not play politics.

I think Eichenwald has a very good point. As much as I hate obstructionism, I think this is important enough to warrant it.



  1. Jonah wrote:

    Looks like Trump risked military lives giving the go ahead for a badly planned op

    And now trying to destroy invaluable alliances. WTF!!!!!!

    I’m in need of a punching bag. So frustrated.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink
  2. Mountain Man wrote:

    Playing that kind of game is a good way to shoot yourself in the foot (or cut off your nose to spite your face). Everything you say is correct except that it overlooks the fact the Republicans are in complete control of both Houses and the Presidency. They’re going to get their nominee in. We can hold our breath and turn blue but we’ll only make ourselves look foolish. Better to take the best deal we can get in such circumstances and move on to battles we can win. If we somehow manage to obstruct Gorsuch, we may get landed with something even worse – in fact, there’s an almost certain chance of it. Sometimes it pays to hold your nose and be pragmatic. I’d say this is one of those time.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink
  3. ebdoug wrote:

    today’s ratings on Trump: The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-seven percent (47%) disapprove.

    The uneducated, brainwashed vs the educated. The uneducated are always going to be more.

    And Mountain Man I think you miss the point: The Supreme court will be all Conservative if we don’t deny their person. We have to block as they did.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink
  4. Michael wrote:

    Mountain Man, you miss one critical point: Republicans won’t always be in complete control of House, Senate, and the Presidency. In order to bypass a complete block on Gorsuch is to kill the filibuster on SCOTUS nominees. That means a future Democratic President who can ram through a liberal with a 50-50 Senate (the VP breaks ties in the Senate).

    I’ve heard some Dems say they’ll allow this one and wait for a second to block. That’s about as foolish as you can get. Because if you’re worried about the GOP killing the filibuster now, what’s to stop them from killing it then? The 2018 Senate elections are not going to be good for the Democrats, so they can’t hope for reinforcements until the next presidential race.

    As Eichenwald argues, this nomination must be blocked at all costs. It’s all about the moral hazard. If this precedent is allowed to stand, the GOP will block the nominations of every single Democratic president until “the American people get to decide.”

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink
  5. Ralph wrote:

    Agreed in this case. As they say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Repos were just honky dory with gridlock during the Obama years, time to give them a little taste of their own medicine as just deserts. They’ll think twice about going to the so-called “nuclear option” and kill the filibuster if it comes to that, despite Trump’s hissy twits. Deep down they know their days of obstruction and dissembling are numbered.

    They’ll bitch and moan and call names but if the election told us anything it’s that the majority did not vote for this blatant attempt to suppress our collective voices and I demand my elected representatives make them heard loud and clear in no uncertain terms.

    That’s my spiel and I’m stickin’ with it!

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    And read this article from Politico “Democrats Should Not Fear the Nuclear Option” —

    It also makes a very good case that the Gorsuch nomination should be fought, and shows why Mountain Man’s concerns are meaningless.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink
  7. Wildwood wrote:

    I say fight. I haven’t read the articles, I don’t care the rationale, I just say fight. Grandma is pissed off!!!

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink
  8. Jim Head wrote:

    Please share your thoughts about the Democrat imposed rules – “Biden Rule” and Reid’s “Nuclear Option” and the hypocrisy of Mr. Eichenwald’s opinion piece.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Mountain man’s concerns are not meaningless. I don’t align myself with either party, but the whole nuclear option scandal began when Harry Reid found it necessary to stop the filibuster against president Obama’s circuit court judge nominees.I don’t understand the argument of foreseeing the democratic party being able to use the same tactic when it is back in power, since it was the Democratic Party that opened Pandora’s box. So the argument now is full steam ahead so that when we have power again we can do what we want? Again, I don’t think mountain man’s concerns are unwarranted.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  10. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I agree with mountain man. I also agree and concede that Garland should have been given a hearing. I also want to note that the democrat majority controlled senate unanimously approved Gorsuch in 2006. 95-0. So if they say now that those senators were wrong (many of whom are still the and this also included Obama I believe) then it will be painted as purely a tantrum and severely hurt the down ballet in 2 years. I can see the headlines now, judge voted for by Obama, Reid, Schumer, etc is now not worthy of a hearing? Let’s just give the union vote to republicans.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    Patriotsgt, I had to look that one up, but it appears to be true. Great point. Both sides continuously get caught in hypocrisy.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink
  12. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I would also like to hear some harsh comments and denouncement on the riots by the alt-left that occurred at Berkeley. It’s sad, because back in the 60s that school set the standard on tolerance and free speech inviting many diverse opinions for reflection and debate. These leftist are very similar to the Stalinistas of post WW2, when Stalin’s anti free speech gang shut/beat down the opposition while forming the eastern block.
    If Tea party types had done that during Obamas presidency that would be the only thing discussed on this site and the alt left media, I mean CNN and MSNBC.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    I went back and reread some of the articles surrounding the nomination. All the discussions are on tactics of how to win against the other party. This is exactly the thing that is irritating people. Where is the argument for or against the nominees merit. The articles I read are discussing political gamesmanship, while exploring polical gamesmanship. That’s ironic

    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 4:04 am | Permalink
  14. Michael wrote:

    I’m happy to talk about the “Biden Rule” and Reid going nuclear.

    First, the “Biden Rule” has absolutely nothing to do with the Garland case. For one thing, it’s not even a rule. It was a request to avoid unnecessary politicization of the process. Here are the origins: Near the end of JUNE in an election year (just over 4 months from the end), with ZERO SCOTUS seats open, and ZERO nominees to consider, Biden gave a speech where he said IF a seat suddenly opens, the nomination and discussion should be done in November, after the election–not after the end of the Presidential term. It was a hypothetical request, not a demand.

    Biden, in the same speech, was very clear that it was NOT about denying Bush the right to appoint someone: “Some will criticize such a decision and say it was nothing more than an attempt to save a seat on the court in the hopes that a Democrat will be permitted to fill it. But that would not be our intention, Mr. President, if that were the course we were to choose in the Senate — to not consider holding hearings until after the election. Instead, it would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is under way, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.”

    Scalia died in February, 4.5 months earlier in the election cycle than when Biden gave his speech. And the GOP didn’t put off consideration until November, they blocked it wholesale and said the next President gets to choose…almost a year after Scalia’s death.

    If they truly were following the “Biden Rule,” there would have been hearings in December. The fact that there weren’t indicates that this was truly an inappropriate power grab.

    As for Reid going nuclear, that happened in November 2013. That was five years into President Obama’s tenure. Five years in which the GOP was filibustering many of Obama’s appointees. Five years in which the GOP was filibustering anything and everything in sight to block his agenda. Look at the data on cloture counts (one cloture roughly corresponds to an attempt to break a filibuster). Notice how many more there were during the Obama years.

    Going back to Gorsuch, since PatriotSGT brings up his previous confirmation: Read Eichenwald’s article. He agrees. I agree. Gorsuch is VERY qualified. But this isn’t about qualifications. Allowing Gorsuch through creates a moral hazard. It shows McConnell and the GOP that there is no punishment for their abusive tactics. So why should they ever stop doing them and even try to cooperate with Dems? If they did, their base would primary them.

    As for PatriotSGT’s off-topic at 12, I would caution you to be very, very careful. From what I have been able to see, there was both a protest and a riot. Do not conflate the two. The protest had about 1500 people, and about 150 (all masked) turned violent. The violence is unacceptable, and I hope all of them are arrested and jailed. Those people do not speak for the other protesters who objected to the university hosting a speaker who espouses a violent–no unpopular, violent, and that is the key–ideology.

    The reason I said to be careful is because the millions of us who are protesting the ban, the wall, and all the rest of it, are peaceful. The minute you start lumping us in with violent rioters, you’ve lost the peaceful ones of us as allies.

    (Incidentally, this looks similar to the riots that broke out on Inauguration Day. If the Berkeley rioters are like those people, they are self-espoused anarchists, not necessarily mainstream liberals. Please do not start with a faux “alt-left” label. The term “alt-right” was chosen by Milo and his ilk because they thought they would be unpopular if they described themselves as neo-Nazis…even though they espouse neo-Nazi views and sentiments. Until you see a liberal group adopting such a nonsensical moniker, just don’t go there.)

    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink
  15. Michael wrote:

    Or consider the last point this way, your accusation that any of us protesting condone violence would be similar to me accusing you of believing that it’s okay for military vehicles to start flying Trump flags instead of the American flag. Both would be unjust accusations.

    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  16. PatriotSGT wrote:

    So I guess Madonna saying she thinks about blowing up the White House- a lot isn’t worth a mention. Hmmmm. Or the gay father berating a mother with her young children, because you disagree with her father? Or the 10’s of thousands of tweets from the left social media to kill the president.
    Michael, I appreciate your denunciation of violence, but the Soros funded thugs attaching themselves to protests must be denounced by the mainstream left loudly and in no uncertain terms by the political leaders. If they are not then they approve. The ones at Berkeley were wearing the same ski masks as the ones in DC on Inauguration Day and even. Arrying the same riot gear like bats to break windows.
    So are they the progressives or radical extremists?

    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink
  17. westomoon wrote:

    I couldn’t agree with Eichenwald more. But I also thought Sen. Corey Booker’s opinion on Gorsuch was worthwhile: he reviewed the man’s entire body of decisions, and decided he was too extremist to support.

    PatriotSgt references the Senate’s earlier confirmation of Gorsuch; I would remind him that Garland was also confirmed by unanimous Senate vote, and would very likely have been confirmed in 2016 if McConnell had not stonewalled the process. Both men are qualified, but only Garland is a moderate, apolitical jurist.

    It’s funny — quite a few people are advising not fighting THIS supreme court appointment, but fighting the next. I’ve even heard this referred to as “Scalia’s seat,” as if it were preordained that 5 Justices must be archconservatives. This is not Scalia’s seat, it is Obama’s seat. He was robbed by brute force, and we should not just spackle over that Constitutional crime and move on.

    I say fight Gorsuch tooth and nail — the principle that a sitting President should fill any Supreme Court vacancy that arises during his tenure is key, and worth defending. And Gorsuch is an extremist — an alt-right wolf in intellectual sheep’s clothing.

    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
  18. westomoon wrote:

    Geeze, PSgt, when did you start drinking the Breitbart juice? Your comments are normally fresh and interesting, but today you’re just regurgitating.

    People you categorize as leftist are no different from people I categorize as right-wing extremists — a mixed bag of individuals, some of them nuts. It sure seems to me that the wingnut bag is a lot heavier on the nuts, thanks to their exclusive consumption of fake news and their propensity for wearing assault weapons to political events.

    The particular nuts you are referencing aren’t even leftists, they’re anarchists — a species akin to the Libertarians who find comfortable refuge on the right, without actually being part of it. Anarchists are just less hypocritical — they’ll never run for office, because they don’t believe in political office.

    This probably won’t make much sense to you, but nobody is funding the current popular outcry — not even the right’s Great Satan, Georg Soros. You can complain about two incidents, but I’d remind you that two weeks ago, 5 MILLION Americans took to the streets in outrage, and there was NOT ONE conflict of any kind. The Boston PD even wrote a thank-you letter to the organizers, saying they had never seen such a peaceable gathering. There were similar observations from the police departments of every city where the marches took place.

    The Tea Party never approached the numbers of the Women’s March, and there was all kinds of violence and confrontation at their gatherings.

    As to on-line death threats against the sitting President — what, have you been in a coma since 2009? Not only was there a steady stream of death threats against the whole Obama family, on-line AND in print, for 8 years, we heard members of Congress openly calling for armed insurrection.

    Really, PSgt, whatever has happened to you? Please, push your “reset” button — I miss your normal uniquely individual viewpoint. This fake-news-regurgitating voice does you no justice.

    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  19. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Why Westomoon, you make me blush.

    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  20. westomoon wrote:

    EBDoug, your Rasmussen news has been bothering me, so I decided to look into it. In the process, I found a great resource — HuffPo compiles all the major polls at this site:

    Rasmussen has been finding that people (“likely voters”) approve of Trump’s job performance since he took office. Other polls — CBS, Reuters, Gallup — have been finding the reverse. Rasmussen’s Jan 25 poll actually produced even higher numbers — 59% approval, 41% disapproval.

    Right now, three brand-new polls are out on this Q. Rasmussen finds approval by a margin of +8 points; Gallup finds disapproval by a margin of -9 points; and CBS finds disapproval by a margin of -8 points.

    So it occurred to me to do a search of “rasmussen + poll + bias.” Next time Rasmussen convinces you that the electorate is hopeless, I recommend you do the same.

    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink
  21. westomoon wrote:

    PSgt — Good!

    I hope I also make you pull your socks up and start speaking for yourself again.

    What happened?

    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink
  22. notycoon22 wrote:

    I’ll admit to having been elsewhere for a couple years (meaning not on PI), but PSgt, I was surprised at your comments. The thought crossed my mind that someone was aping your handle.

    I was in Seattle last week-end when 8-10,000 people came together on a moment’s notice to protest the changes to immigration policy. There were a handful (I saw maybe 3) of assholes in black ski caps and bandannas, but they were greatly outnumbered.

    Those folks aren’t Dems and I’d hesitate to call them progressives or even liberals. They are self styled anarchists. Berkeley has always been home to a fair number of these folks, but the vast majority – dare I say super-majority – of the folks out were not of that anarchist ilk.
    As to the prick they were protesting – preventing him from speaking on campus would have been preventing a diatribe of hate speech from occurring. I was amazed that the University allowed it in the first place.

    Now for some alt facts: the supposed anarchists at Berkeley were actually paid by ultra alt-rightists to make the legitimate protesters look bad – to give Drumpf a talking point to tweet about. Sadly, I’ve gotten paranoid enough about the mayhem being done to out country that I could actually see this happening.


    Friday, February 3, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink
  23. notycoon22 wrote:

    One list post here. I just finished up an interesting opinion piece in The Guardian that looks at the events at Berkeley and the larger issue of freedom of speech. Worth a read, IMHO.
    Don, Yreka

    Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  24. westomoon wrote:

    Yiannopolis’ post-inauguration campus “victory tour” has been marked by violence from its maiden outing at U of Washington.

    But nobody from Breitbart would ever stage a phony event just to create fake news, would they? That Dan-Ackroyd-wannabe at Planned Parenthood was a real pimp, right?

    Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink