Save the Filibuster…So Republicans Can Kill it First!

Senate Minority “Leader” Mitch McConnell

For anyone who still believes that good-faith bipartisanship remains possible in the U.S. Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would like to assure you otherwise.

As The Hill reports:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled Monday that Republicans, if they win back control of the upper chamber, wouldn’t advance a Supreme Court nominee if a vacancy occurred in 2024, the year of the next presidential election.

“I think it’s highly unlikely — in fact, no, I don’t think either party, if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election,” McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt.

McConnell was asked if a GOP-controlled Senate would take the same tack in 2024 that it did in 2016, when they refused to give Merrick Garland, former President Obama’s final Supreme Court pick, a hearing or a vote on his nomination to fill the vacancy created by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia…

…McConnell declined to say what Republicans would do if a justice stepped down in mid-2023 and Republican controlled the Senate.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” McConnell said, asked by Hewitt if the nominee would get a fair shot.

Via POLITICO (6/14/21)

This is the same Mitch McConnell who said earlier in May that he was “100 percent focused” on stopping the administration of President Joe Biden — regardless of the policies presented by the White House. McConnell is saying unequivocally now that he would prevent the advancement of a Supreme Court nominee by President Biden, just as he prevented the advancement of Merrick Garland in 2016 and rammed through the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett — the kind of nomination that was supposedly done “too close” to an election.

As Sahil Kapur of NBC News points out:

It is ludicrous for Democratic Senators such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to continue to protect “institutions” of the Senate — such as the filibuster — when there is absolutely no question that Senate Republicans don’t give a rat’s ass about tradition or fair play or hypocrisy or anything else. If Democrats don’t push for changes to the filibuster or the 60-vote rule in the Senate, it’s only matter of time before Republicans do it themselves.

Mitch McConnell would probably even tell you as much if you asked.

3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    Mitch McConnell, the man who broke America

    He continued: “Breaking the rules to change the rules is un-American. I just hope the majority leader thinks about his legacy, the future of his party, and, most importantly, the future of our country before he acts.” 

    Are these the words of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) as the Republican majority changed Senate rules this week to do away with filibusters of Supreme Court nominations? 

    Actually, they were uttered in 2013, by then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), when Democrats pushed through a similar filibuster change for lesser nominations.

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    Op-Ed: The filibuster is unconstitutional. Here’s how Vice President Harris can take it on

    In 1957, Vice President Richard Nixon, sitting as presiding officer of the Senate, issued two advisory opinions holding that a crucial provision of the Senate’s filibuster rule — requiring two-thirds vote to amend it — was unconstitutional. Nixon’s constitutional determination was reaffirmed by subsequent vice presidents Hubert Humphrey and Nelson Rockefeller. In fact, it was this ruling that allowed both the Democratic-controlled Senate in 2013 and the Republican-controlled Senate in 2017 by a simple majority vote to eliminate filibusters for all executive and judicial nominees.

    In fact, Article I of the Constitution does not appear to permit a broad 60-vote supermajority rule. That article sets forth supermajority votes in the Senate only in narrowly defined cases like ratifying treaties, overturning presidential vetoes and convicting impeached officials. The strong implication is that, unless the action falls into these narrow exceptions, the Senate should operate by majority rule. Article I says nothing about a general supermajority requirement for the enactment of all legislation in the Senate.

    • spaceman2021 says:

      Very interesting Op-Ed by a constitutional guru.  Much better than a piece I saw the other day suggesting that the Dems should sue to have the filibuster declared unconstitutional (a lawsuit doomed to fail for lack of standing or as a nonjusticiable political question). 

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