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Politico: Dems Can't Filibuster Trump SCOTUS Nominee, Must 'Accept Reality'

Politico: Dems Can't Filibuster Trump SCOTUS Nominee, Must 'Accept Reality'

President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By    |   Friday, 18 November 2016 12:59 PM

Senate Republicans are delivering warnings to Democrats about confirming President-elect Donald Trump's Supreme Court justice nominees, according to Politico.

"We're going to confirm the president's nominee one way or the other. And there's an easy way and there's a hard way. They just need to accept that reality," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said.

Cornyn's Texas Republican colleague Sen. Ted Cruz agreed.

"The Democrats will not succeed in filibustering a Supreme Court nominee. We are going to confirm President Trump's conservative Supreme Court justices."

A filibuster would keep Republicans from pushing through a Supreme Court justice: it requires a supermajority in the Senate — 60 votes — which Republicans do not possess. Democrats and Republicans are debating on whether to end the supermajority requirement to confirm a justice will continue, according to Politico.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell never gave a hearing to President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland. Democrats, a minority in the Senate, have few options to exert their will over Republicans.

Politico said Democrats recognize that they must pick their battles. Going against Trump right at the beginning of his presidency could lead to an end to their filibuster option. If that goes away, Trump could easily add more conservative justices with a simple majority. Three current justices are advanced in age, in their late 70s or early 80s.

"I'm going to give them a better break than they gave Merrick Garland," Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester said. But as to whether he would automatically approve Trump's nominee, "Hell, no. I'm going to make sure the guy or gal is qualified for the job."

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp agreed, saying, "You think I'm just going to hand them a vote not knowing who it is?"

California's Dianne Feinstein said she would confront the Republicans over their nominees because of their actions against Garland.

"The only way I know how to do things is to have my staff and myself do strict scrutiny. Have the hearings, ask the hard questions, and then make a decision."

Clashes over the Supreme Court began with Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas later, Politico said. In 2013, Democrat Sen. Harry Reid allowed all nominees to be confirmed by a simple majority, not a supermajority. Now Democrats may face a Republican move similar to theirs.

"I mean, (Democrats) set the standard," Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said. "They really screwed up the rules. Frankly, they did it for pure political purposes. The Republicans are not limited now."

Delaware Democrat Sen. Chris Coons said he doesn't foresee the filibuster being taken away.

"I'm hearing no passion for trying to make such a fundamental change of taking away the emergency brake of the filibuster."

Hatch and another Republican senator, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, are in favor of keeping the filibuster, according to New York Magazine. Graham said ending it would be "a horrible, terrible idea."

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Senate Republicans are delivering warnings to Democrats about confirming President-elect Donald Trump's Supreme Court justice nominees, according to Politico.
supreme court, justice, nominee, democrats, republicans
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2016-59-18
Friday, 18 November 2016 12:59 PM
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