The New York Times, along with every major news outline, is reporting “the good news.” Democrats in the Senate have secured the votes necessary to filibuster the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court:
With an announcement from Senator Christopher Coons , Democrat of Delaware, during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing to vote on Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, Democrats had found their 41st vote in support of a filibuster.
Now the inevitable questions begin. Will the Democrats hang tough and go through with the filibuster? It’s a gamble if they do. Despite the silly rumors circulated early on about Gorsuch having started a “fascism forever club” in high school, he is a pretty middle-of-the-road guy. He is so well-respected as a jurist that he was unanimously confirmed to the Tenth Circuit by a bipartisan vote in 2006. Among the Democrats who voted in favor of confirmation back then were Chuck Schumer , Dianne Feinstein , Patrick Leahy , and Patty Murray , all of whom say they will participate in the “boycott” this time around. That makes the decision looked nakedly political — which of course it is.
In addition, Dems would be expending a lot of political capital on a nominee they could easily live with on the high court. Donald Trump’s next nominee may not as agreeable to the minority party, which would come off looking oppositional.
The second question that looms is whether the Republicans, faced with this sad reality, will go nuclear and vote Gorsuch in on a simple majority. That, too, carries risks for the party, which would be setting a precedent for future majorities.