Based on the comments of Senator Pat Leahy about the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, there was a sharp drop in temperature in the nether regions today. Yes. Hell may have frozen over. That will now start all the more junior Senators to reassessing their commitment to Chuck Schumer’s leadership.
As Written By Allahpundit for Hot Air:
He won’t vote for Gorsuch in the final confirmation vote, he stresses, but no one cares about that. That vote requires a simple majority, and obviously all 52 Republicans will vote yes. The big vote, as always in the Senate, is the cloture vote. If Democrats hang together there, as Schumer has been threatening that they will, then the GOP will have to nuke the filibuster. They probably have the votes to do that, but there’s a shred of mystery. And even if it happens, it’s a momentous break with tradition. Supreme Court confirmations will never be the same.
Now here comes one Democrat suggesting that the crisis might be averted. Annnnnnd … it’s not the Democrat whom you’d guess. Holy confirmations, Batman!
The most senior senator, Leahy retains a vision for the chamber as one that promotes bipartisanship and compromise. Leahy has long expressed concern about the politicization of judicial nominees, and he does not support Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s decision to filibuster the Gorsuch nomination, which would effectively block a full Senate vote.
“I am not inclined to filibuster, even though I’m not inclined to vote for him,” Leahy said…
“I do think the end of the filibuster hurts everybody,” Leahy said. “I was very reluctant to see us use the nuclear option, thought I don’t think we would have seen any of President Obama’s judges go through without it.”…
“If politics continues to pervade judicial nominations, Americans will lose faith in the judiciary,” Leahy said. “They have already lost faith in the presidency and the Congress, there’s not much trust left in government.”
Leahy’s spokesman rushed to say afterward that he hasn’t taken a definitive position on cloture yet, but the senator’s hesitation is a strong nudge to junior Democrats to ignore Schumer and go their own way on filibustering Gorsuch. Leahy’s been in the chamber for more than 40 years (elected when he was all of 35 years old) and, unlike most of the other gettable Democrats on cloture, he comes from a deep blue state. In theory, the left could punish him for crossing them on Gorsuch by primarying him, but (a) he doesn’t face voters again until 2022, (b) at 76 years old, it’s an open question if he’ll run again, and (c) Leahy is such an institution in Vermont that…..
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