Problems like 'Should I freeze to death in my truck?' Answer: Yes.

With Neil the Smiling Corporation Lover Gorsuch apparently cruising to confirmation by the Senate, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced today that he and other Democrats will filibuster Gorsuch's nomination, which should slow down the Republican success in stealing a Supreme Court seat for several minutes before Rs change Senate rules to eliminate filibusters of SCOTUS nominees. Then, his sole purpose in life complete, Donald Trump may, like a salmon that has spawned, wither away and float downstream to become a particularly gross part of the Circle of Life, though no self-respecting bear would ever eat him. (We may have some parts of that chronology wrong.)

Schumer said the filibuster was needed because Gorsuch had not shown himself capable of being a "an independent check" on Donald Trump, and urged Republicans to demand Gorsuch receive at least enough bipartisan support to get past the filibuster:

“If this nominee cannot earn 60 votes — a bar met by each of President Obama’s nominees, and George Bush’s last two nominees — the answer isn’t to change the rules. It’s to change the nominee,” he said [...]

Gorsuch is “not a neutral legal mind but someone with a deep-seated conservative ideology,” Schumer added. “He was groomed by the Federalist Society and has shown not one inch of difference between his views and theirs.”

Schumer said that as if it were a bug, not a feature. The Federalists were one of the two groups that handed Donald Trump lists of pre-vetted judicial candidates who'd be lovingly embraced by rightwing groups like the Federalist Society, which seems a pretty neat way to prove what a competent president Donald Trump is. By pure coincidence, one of the head dudes at the Federalist Society, Leonard Leo, is taking a leave of absence from running the group so he can help the Trump administration build a collection of potential nominees to federal courts who will also be acceptable to the Federalist Society. That's awfully generous of him!

Schumer also said Gorsuch had spent far too much time during his confirmation hearing aw-shucking himself out of adequately answering most questions, saying he'd "declined to answer question after question after question with any substance. … All we have to judge the judge on is his record."

Schumer's call for a filibuster didn't demand all Senate Democrats join in, allowing a bit of wiggle room for Democrats facing reelection in red states next year to vote for Gorsuch. We still feel free to call them wusses if they won't oppose Gorsuch, because he's terrible.

Republicans are unlikely to refrain from exercising the so-called "nuclear option" to allow confirmation of Supreme Court nominees on a simple majority vote, following Senate Dems' tossing out the filibuster in 2013 for all presidential nominations except for the Supremes. The Washington Post notes that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "is said to privately oppose making the rules changes, but hasn’t ruled it out publicly." Once Dems actually have the 40 votes needed to filibuster further debate on Gorsuch, expect Yertle to turn around with a splash and announce from his wizened beak that he'd been in favor of ending the filibuster all along.

Wednesday's Gorsuch hearings were mostly an exercise in the nominee saying "gosh" and refusing to answer even the most basic questions about his judicial philosophy, because if you don't say anything, no one can criticize you until you actually rule to impose a ten-month waiting period for abortions. Congratulations to Dianne Feinstein for at least taking Gorsuch to task, for all the good it did: “You have been very much able to avoid any specificity like no one I have ever seen before,” she told Goresuch, which presumably elicited that moronic grin of his. And also a hooray to Hawaii Democrat Mazie Hirono, who wasn't having any of Gorsuch's bland pretenses to neutrality:

When Gorsuch said he did not think of judges as Democrats or Republicans, [Hirono] responded if that were true, the committee would be considering the man President Barack Obama nominated, Judge Merrick Garland.

To further streamline the judicial nomination process, Yr Wonkette expects Senate Republicans to further alter Senate rules to allow all nominations to the federal courts to be approved by a simple up or down vote by the Federalist Society.

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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