The Jury Talks Back


Gorsuch Confirmed – Victory for McConnell

Filed under: Uncategorized — JVW @ 9:14 am

[guest post by JVW]

By a 54-45 vote with three red state Democrats up for reelection in 2018, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, joining with 51 Republicans in voting to seat him on the court. Republican Johnny Isakson of Georgia missed the vote due to health issues.

We have had ample reason to criticize Senate Majority Mitch McConnell in the past, but from the moment that we learned of the passing of the great Justice Antonin Scalia the majority leader has been nothing short of a conservative stalwart from how he handled Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to his ability to keep his caucus together and invoke the Reid Option in ending the Democrats’ filibuster. No doubt we’ll have reason to criticize him again down the road, but let’s take this moment to extend to him our most sincere thanks and congratulations for his fine work.



  1. McConnell did what Ryan and Trump failed to do — lead the segment of government for which he is responsible. That shouldn’t be unusual but it is for today’s GOP.

    Comment by DRJ — 4/7/2017 @ 9:51 am

  2. McConnell did what Ryan and Trump failed to do — lead the segment of government for which he is responsible. That shouldn’t be unusual but it is for today’s GOP.

    Especially since the stereotype has long been that it is impossible to get Senators to work together, but House members can be whipped into obedience by party leaders. It seems that it is quite the opposite these days.

    I hope that some halfway decent journalist is writing a book about the Supreme Court nomination in the wake of Scalia’s death. I think there would be some really interesting back-stories about how the GOP kept Susan Collins and some other moderates aboard. I’m sure the Dems were trying to set up another Gang of 8 kind of compromise to torpedo this nomination, so I would love to find out how that collapsed.

    Comment by JVW — 4/7/2017 @ 10:08 am

  3. Maybe Cruz will write a book on the Senate someday. I don’t know if he will include all the secrets but at least he actually writes his own books.

    Comment by DRJ — 4/7/2017 @ 10:19 am

  4. Good post, JVW. Clear, concise, accurate, and with a good point. Thank you for posting it here.

    Comment by DRJ — 4/7/2017 @ 10:20 am

  5. McConnell should definitely be commended for how he handled this whole thing from start to finish. Admittedly, he got a lot of help from the events of 2016, the fact that the disposition of the USSC was apparently a more vital issue from the POV of Republican voters than for Democrats, and the tone deaf performance from the Democrats after Gorsuch was nominated that managed to alienate any Republican Senators who might have balked at the nuclear option, but–like Howard Dean running strategy for the Democrats in the 2006 election–he conceived of a plan that would pay off brilliantly if everything went right for his side, and followed it to the letter all the way to victory. Well done.

    Comment by M. Scott Eiland — 4/7/2017 @ 10:50 am

  6. Good post, JVW. Clear, concise, accurate, and with a good point. Thank you for posting it here.

    Thanks DRJ. I was always a big fan of your blogging, so your kind words mean a great deal to me.

    Comment by JVW — 4/7/2017 @ 11:21 am

  7. The ends justify the means, eh.

    Watergate 101.

    Mitch should have granted Garland a hearing and then never brought up a vote. That would have cooled the coffee in the saucer. He’s done more damage than he realizes. But at his age, he doesn’t care–it won’t matter in his lifetime.

    Comment by DCSCA — 4/7/2017 @ 11:56 am

  8. Who is that commenter who says pragmatism beats principle? I can’t remember his name. Can you recall, DCSCA?

    Comment by DRJ — 4/7/2017 @ 1:59 pm

  9. I’m disgusted by this further gutting of the filibuster, but I think McConnel chose the least-bad option here.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 4/7/2017 @ 2:57 pm

  10. Aside from McConnell’s action, the other thing here was that Schumer and the other Democratic leaders were betting that some of the GOP Senators who have valued tradition over winning in the past would fold. The bet was while the Senate Majority Leader might hold firm, Senators like Collins, Hatch, McCain, Graham or Murkowski would put so much importance in the tradition of the filibuster, they’d undercut McConnell and refuse to vote to kill it.

    Trump’s nomination of Gorsuch and how he handled himself in the Senate hearings gave that group nothing to latch onto as an excuse to uphold the tradition, even as it gave Schumer and the other Dems nothing to latch onto in order to justify their filibuster other than Garland not getting a vote. So it was a good strategic pick by Trump and good handling of the process for the past 14 months by McConnell that kept the usual suspects from wavering and deciding to kill the nominee instead of killing the high court filibuster.

    Comment by John — 4/7/2017 @ 3:08 pm

  11. JVW, thank you for cross posting. When I see people posting on the other blog wishing for the death of politicians (and other posters agreeing), and not even Patterico calls them out on it, I am glad for a place where I don’t have to deal with those sorts.

    Comment by Simon Jester — 4/8/2017 @ 7:20 pm

  12. I think it was George Washington who said the House is like a cup of coffee and the senate like a saucer, because the senate was intended to have a cooling effect, limiting the speed our politicians could make changes.

    I hope Gorsuch lives up to the hype and know no reason he won’t, but I do think it’s unfortunate we’ve chipped away at the Senate’s original nature.

    Comment by Dustin — 4/8/2017 @ 9:37 pm

  13. This particular genie was released in 2013 and we knew back then it was going to be impossible for it to ever be put back into its bottle because if it wasn’t going to be the Republicans nuking the rules then it would be the Democrats whenever it suited them. The best way to get things back on track is to repeal the 17th Amendment and impose term limits in the House.

    Comment by Sean — 4/10/2017 @ 6:44 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

Live Preview

Powered by WordPress.