Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) says that after “deliberating carefully and deeply,” he has reached the conclusion that the Senate must not confirm Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court and Democrats must filibuster the vote.
Blumenthal is inspired by the same reasoning that Republicans used to block the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland – he doesn’t want to confirm a nominee during President Trump’s last year in office.
Blumenthal prefaced his remarks by acknowledging the deep sentiment among Democrats that they must not reward Republicans’ unjust, unprecedented decision to refuse Merrick Garland a hearing by letting the Republicans have their way.
“I am still angry about the treatment of [President Barack Obama’s nominee] Merrick Garland. My Republican colleagues have said if the shoe were on the other foot, we would have done the same. It would have been as wrong if we had [refused to give Garland a hearing] as it was when they did.
“But my vote is not about Merrick Garland. It is about Neil Gorsuch and it is about the constitutional crisis that may well be looming as a potential threat to our democracy.”
Ultimately, Blumenthal finds stronger reasoning that should resonate with any patriotic Republicans. Senate Republicans might be feeling pretty smug about managing to shirk their Constitutional duty to confirm Garland, but the threat of Trump taking down the country (and probably the Republican Party with it) ought to spur them into action.
“The independence of our judicial branch has never been more threatened or more important. The possibility of a Supreme Court needing to enforce a subpoena against the president of the United States is far from idle speculation. It has happened before in United States vs. Nixon.”
We all know that Republicans will continue to bury their heads in the sand and act like Trump isn’t a corrupt wannabe-dictator who has surrounded himself with cronies and foreign agents. They will pretend there is no need to ensure an independent judiciary because of course Trump does everything by the book.
Republicans might claim that Gorsuch will not compromise the integrity of the Supreme Court because justices are supposed to carry out their duties apolitically. However, as Blumenthal points out, it would look pretty dodgy if Trump nominates a justice who sides with him just months later.
If Gorsuch makes it on to the Court we hope that he puts law over politics. But in Trump’s America, it is foolish to trust anyone the President associates himself with.
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