Commentary, Courts & the Law, Trump Administration

Of all the times to do it: U.S. Senate looks to blow up its basic rules to help…Trump

Donald Trump speakingThe latest news from the nation’s capital is that members of the U.S. Senate are, quite remarkably, preparing to blow up one of the institution’s most time-honored rules this week — the 60-vote requirement — to, of all things, aid the objectives of a corrupt and quite possibly illegitimate president. The good people at the Center for American Progress explain in this news release:

Ahead of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s committee hearing and vote and following the unprecedented number of senators who have come out in opposition to the judge’s nomination, Michele Jawando, Vice President for Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, issued the following statement:

“The Senate should not consider eliminating a long-standing Senate rule just to get the president’s nominee on the Supreme Court. It seems that the nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, will not obtain 60 votes in the Senate, but rather than seeking a nominee who could meet this threshold, Republican Senate leaders would rather blow up the Senate rules.

“While the Senate rushes to confirm Judge Gorsuch, the administration finds itself being pulled deeper and deeper into the scandal surrounding the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn—who was allegedly fired for providing misleading information about contacts with Russian officials—has asked for immunity from prosecution in exchange for providing information to investigators. This investigation raises fundamental questions about the president’s legitimacy, and we cannot allow President Donald Trump to make a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court until these questions are resolved.

“This is not the time to throw out Senate traditions of collegiality and bipartisanship just to get the president’s Supreme Court nominee in place. When Senate Democratic leaders changed the threshold for lower-court nominees in 2013, they only did so after four years of negotiations failed. And they kept the 60-vote threshold for nominees to the highest court in the land. Instead of changing the rules, the Senate should tell the White House to change the nominee to a judge who can receive bipartisan support.”

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