John McCain Says Republicans Will Refuse To Confirm Any Clinton SCOTUS Nominee

John McCain said that Senate Republicans will unite to block any Supreme Court appointment by a President Hillary Clinton.

Supreme Court Building

Republican Senator John McCain suggested that Republicans could block every Supreme Court appointment that Hillary Clinton makes should she become President:

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain pledged Monday that Republicans will unite against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton puts forward if she becomes president, forecasting obstruction that could tie Capitol Hill in knots.

However an aide later clarified that McCain, R-Ariz., will examine the record of anyone nominated for the high court and vote for or against that person based on their qualifications.

McCain’s initial comments came in an interview with Philadelphia talk radio host Dom Giordano to promote the candidacy of Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

“I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,” McCain said. “I promise you. This is where we need the majority and Pat Toomey is probably as articulate and effective on the floor of the Senate as anyone I have encountered.”

“This is the strongest argument I can make to return Pat Toomey, so we can make sure there are not three places on the United States Supreme Court that will change this country for decades,” McCain said.

There is already one vacancy on the court after the death of Antonin Scalia. Republicans have refused to fill the opening for months, arguing it should be left up to the next president. Given the ages of some of the eight remaining justices, additional vacancies are expected.

Republicans’ refusal to allow a President Clinton to get her Supreme Court picks confirmed would certainly result in a major conflagration in the Senate and between Congress and the White House. Democrats are already suggesting that one outcome, known as the “nuclear option,” might be to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. That would be a possibility only if Democrats retake Senate control.

Asked to clarify McCain’s comment, spokeswoman Rachael Dean said: “Sen. McCain believes you can only judge people by their record, and Hillary Clinton has a clear record of supporting liberal judicial nominees. That being said, Sen. McCain will, of course, thoroughly examine the record of any Supreme Court nominee put before the Senate and vote for or against that individual based on their qualifications, as he has done throughout his career.”

McCain’s position is, of course, fundamentally absurd and one that seems be the kind of remark that will come back to haunt McCain, and Senate Republicans, no matter how the election turns out. If Republicans retain control of the Senate, which currently seems well within the realm of possibility even if Hillary Clinton wins the White House, then we’ll end up with a Constitutional showdown between the Senate and the White House in which Republican Senators, assuming they unite around the kind of promise that McCain make, could effectively attempt to blackmail a President Clinton into appointing a Supreme Court Justice far less to the left than she otherwise might want to appoint. If Democrats gain control, then we’ll see Republicans attempt to use the filibuster to stop any of Clinton’s nominees. As noted above, though, the difference in this case is that Senate Democrats could thwart that plan by voting to remove the filibuster power for Supreme Court appointments just as they did when they eliminated the filibuster for Cabinet level and other appointments. Even in that case, though, there would still be other procedural maneuvers that Republicans could utilize to block a vote on a Clinton appointment or at least delay a vote for a considerable period of time. If they’re dealing with a Democratic Senate majority, though, then they would only be delaying a confirmation that would otherwise inevitable.

So far at least, no other Republican Senator has commented on McCain’s remarks and, to be honest, it’s somewhat surprising that it would be a Senator like John McCain that would be making a “promise” like this. Notwithstanding the fact that he moved considerably to the right prior to winning his GOP Senate Primary, McCain has never really been this kind of a conservative before. Indeed, this is something I’d expect from someone like Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, or Mike Lee long before I’d expect from John McCain. In more ways than one, this is a step above the position that the Senate GOP is taking at the moment with regard to the Merrick Garland nomination, which essentially says that the American people should have the opportunity to vote on the next President before the Senate votes on whether to confirm or oppose a Supreme Court appointment that would represent a significant change in the ideological balance on the Court given the fact that Judge Garland, or whomever a President Clinton might nominate if he is not confirmed, is clearly a different type of Judge from Antonin Scalia.. What McCain is saying is that Republicans could essentially say that there is no acceptable nominee that Clinton could possibly name, meaning that more than one seat would go unfilled for an unknown period of time. Presumably, this would lead several Justices to decline to retire when they otherwise might do so, but it would nonetheless have a serious impact on the effective administration of the nation’s highest court. There’s really no excuse for this position, of course, and it reminds one of past confirmation fights when Republicans argued that the President deserved to have his nominees properly considered. They were right then, and McCain is wrong now. One would hope that other Republican Senators don’t go down this irresponsible road.

Update: Since McCain made these remarks, his office has seemingly attempted to walk them back:

McCain’s office issued a statement Monday afternoon backing off his pledge of blanket opposition.

“Senator McCain believes you can only judge people by their record and Hillary Clinton has a clear record of supporting liberal judicial nominees,” spokeswoman Rachel Dean said. “That being said, Senator McCain will, of course, thoroughly examine the record of any Supreme Court nominee put before the Senate and vote for or against that individual based on their qualifications as he has done throughout his career.”

Later in the day, during a campaign stop in Chandler, Arizona, McCain avoided the more strident position when responding to a question from local business officials about the court.

But the 30-year incumbent, facing his most difficult election since his first race in 1986, made clear that he hopes the issue of defending the court from a Democratic Senate majority and president is something that should galvanize conservatives.

“There’s estimates as many as three vacancies could be coming over the next three years,” he said. “That can affect us for decades. So it’s my passionate argument for keeping the United States Senate in Republican hands, as a check and balance to whoever the president of the United States is.”

After a second stop Monday, with the leaders of the Arizona Farm Bureau, McCain said in an interview that a Republican Senate would temper the types of justices Clinton could get confirmed as president — not that it would prevent the confirmation of any Clinton nominee.

“Hillary Clinton has supported all the liberal nominees that have come before the Senate when she was in the Senate,” he said.

This is slightly different from McCain’s original position, but not by very much. In essence, McCain is suggesting that Senate Republicans will attempt to blackmail Clinton into appointing the kind of nominee they would approve of rather than one that they find acceptable. This is, of course, a very different position from the one they took during confirmation hearings for nominees ranging from William Rehnquist, Robert Bork, and Clarence Thomas to John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Hypocrisy? Well, as they say, I report, you decide.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Congress, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Law and the Courts, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    Doug,

    “we’ll end up with a Constitutional showdown between the Senate and the White House in which Republican Senators, assuming they unite around the kind of promise that McCain make, could effectively attempt to blackmail a President Clinton into appointing a Supreme Court Justice far less to the left than she otherwise might want to appoint.”

    Aside from this already having occurred by Obama nominating Garland, but as you note at the end of your post, that is not what McCain said. He said, “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up”. Not any left of center nominee, but any nominee.

    In other words, we should expect the Supreme Court to limp along with 8 justices (or less if any resign or die) until a Republican can nominate one. And this is especially rich coming from one of the Gang of 14 from the prior decade.

  2. DrDaveT says:

    This is slightly different from McCain’s original position, but not by very much.

    It differs only in being less truthful. Instead of saying “We will block whoever Hillary Clinton nominates, because Hillary”, he is now saying “We will block whoever Hillary Clinton nominates, after pretending to consider them on their merits”.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    McCain is a pathetic old man…

  4. KM says:

    “The next President should choose the Supreme Court nominee.”

    Well, she will. One way or the other.

    So pardon my French but suck it, obstructionists!! You had your chance but decided to be obstreperous to the very end. No compromise, no negotiations, no meetings or vetting, no chance at all….. just a flat out NO with a generous side helping of FU-America to go. Now there better be no whining if when the favor is returned. I don’t think Hillary is as gracious as Obama is so should you lose the Senate…. y’all are gonna choke on the liberal nominee(s) that get rammed down your throats. You’ve established a new precedent in behavior that can and will be used against you.

    The GOP is certainly picking some stupid hills to die on this year. Not having Garland (or a 9th at all) has most likely cost them some decisions that could have gone in their favor. They’ve lost the Court for a generation or more when all they had to do was keep the damage to a minimum. They were never going to get someone like Scalia again but they could have had a Kennedy if they played their cards right. Instead, they’re looking at RBG x2 or more. It didn’t have to be so bad for them. Their actions, however, are insuring a liberal future for this great nation and the death knell for their chances at legal oppression.

    They did it to themselves. They have no one to blame but themselves and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch of asshats.

  5. M. Bouffant says:

    “Straight Talk Express”, my ass!

  6. Jen says:

    The cherry on a Clinton-win sundae would be if McCain loses. The Senate has the authority to advise and consent. Not be pig-headed just because. I am so done with this sort of nonsense.

  7. Gavrilo says:

    So, it’s hypocrisy for Republicans to employ the same tactics toward SCOTUS nominations that the Democrats have been employing for the past 30 years? Got it!

  8. Slugger says:

    I believe that the Supreme Court is an independent third branch of government with lifetime appointments in order to deliberately elevate the justices above the din of partisan politics. They are not Democrats, Republicans, liberal, nor conservative. They do not work for any one president. My view is idealistic, but ideals should guide us as we strive to achieve them.
    Sen. McCain deserves the thanks of our nation for many things. At this time retirement will serve the interests of the nation, his state, his party, and probably his health.

  9. dxq says:

    Debate on the nomination began in the full Senate on January 25. After a failed filibuster attempt by Senator John Kerry, on January 31, the Senate confirmed Alito to the Supreme Court by a vote of 58–42,[41] with four Democratic senators voting for confirmation and one Republican and an Independent voting against.

    if the GOP treats her nominees like Dems treated Alito, I’m fine with that.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    I think this is a rare case of ‘both sides do it.’ It’s wrong, but it’s what you get in a polarized country.

  11. EddieInCA says:

    My sister lives in Arizona. It’s closer to going blue than many realize. Dems have done an amazing job of registering Latino citizens. RCP average has Trump by 1. Given his weak ground game, the Clinton campaign can gain 1.5-2% on GOTV.

    In 2012, I was working in Florida during the election. On election day, I drove more than 200 people to the polls in a 15 Passenger Minivan. The Obama campaign had a database of voters who wanted to vote, but had no way to the polls. All I had to do was pick people up and take them home. I’m certain the Clinton campaign has the same technology and databases, and they have the money to get people to the polls. Arizona is in play more than many realize. And if it goes Blue, McCain doesn’t win.

  12. dxq says:

    The GOP is certainly picking some stupid hills to die on this year.

    Not exactly a pack of Moriartys.

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:

    So, it’s hypocrisy for Republicans to employ the same tactics toward SCOTUS nominations that the Democrats have been employing for the past 30 years? Got it!

    Please link to one instance when a Democratic Senate refused to hear a Republican president’s nominee. Even if they were opposed, they allowed the nominee to come to a comfirmation vote.
    You are a marooooon.

  14. Pete S says:

    @Gavrilo: Remind me, how many empty seats on the Supreme Court were there when Jimmy Carter was sworn in, because the Democrats had announced and followed through with a refusal to approve any nominees for Nixon/Ford? How many empty seats were there when Bill Clinton took office because Democrats refused to approve any nominees for Reagan/Bush? How many empty seats were there when Barack Obama’s term began because Democrats refused to consider any nominee from Bush? I think this covers more than 30 years.

    McCain just announced that Republicans would not consider ANY nominee from Hillary Clinton. The half-assed walkback from his staff was that they would consider a nominee but could not imagine that they would approve any, because obviously if Hillary Clinton nominates a justice they cannot be qualified. This is not remotely the same thing.

  15. dxq says:

    I’m almost certain the first person HRC gets on the SCOTUS will be Garland. If something changed and we got a more aggressive liberal, I’d be happy. But I’ll be happy with Garland. He’s a good person.

  16. dxq says:

    Gavrillo’s doing us a favor by showing us how uninformed you have to be to vote GOP.

  17. Moosebreath says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “I think this is a rare case of ‘both sides do it.’ It’s wrong, but it’s what you get in a polarized country.”

    Umm, what was the last Republican-nominated Supreme Court Justice which the Democrats uniformly voted against (much less did all in their power to prevent reaching the Court)? Not Alito (4 Democrats voted for him). Not Roberts (over 20 D’s). Not Thomas (11 D’s). Not even Robert Bork (who was defeated in spite of getting 2 D’s).

  18. James Pearce says:

    @EddieInCA:

    It’s closer to going blue than many realize.

    If it does go blue, I think we should thank Joe Arpaio.

  19. Pete S says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t know that ‘both sides do it’. The last time there was a Republican President most of his nominees got through, and every position he nominated somebody for got filled even if someone got blocked along the way.

    I imagine if you ask the people of Louisiana, in retrospect they would have been ecstatic if the Democrats had filibustered Michael Brown’s nomination.

  20. Tony W says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You are a marooooon.

    On a side note, I don’t know how you can tell what color Gavrilo is – but I’m a bit of a moron on those kinds of things….

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @dxq:

    I’m almost certain the first person HRC gets on the SCOTUS will be Garland.

    Just curious why you think this? If the Senate stays Republican, I could see it. But if it goes Dem, then why would Clinton nominate a compromise candidate?

  22. C. Clavin says:
  23. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Slugger: But it won’t serve the interests of his bank balance or his ego, so I don’t foresee retirement unless it’s forced by the good people of Arizona (provided that they are in the majority).

  24. Lit3Bolt says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Remember, Bork was too crazy for 80’s standards. Now he’s basically vanilla for the Republican Party.

    Also, he still had the stink of Nixon on him, and even 15 years later in 1988, that was hard to wash off.

  25. Scott says:

    Well, if Congress wants a constitutional crisis, I suppose the Executive Branch, through GSA and the Treasury, could shut off power and water and lock the doors to Capitol Hill. Which, of course, is absurd. But isn’t this where we’re heading?

  26. Tyrell says:

    @Slugger: Those are very good points. A few weeks ago one of the justices made some off cuff remarks and opinions about Kappie not standing for the anthem. Some people disagreed with her doing this, but I like to hear their opinions on a variety of subjects. I would like to see them on some sort of tv talk show where they discuss some of their cases, and let people call in their legal questions.
    I would also like to hear their opinions on famous cases: Booth conspirators’ “trial”, Nuremberg, Kennedy assassination, Jack the Ripper case (still unsolved !), James Earl Ray trial, and Lindbergh kidnapping.
    People need to see them outside of the Supreme Court building.

  27. An Interested Party says:

    The most delicious thing about all of this will be watching Republicans go apoplectic when a Democratic Senate bypasses the filibuster rules to confirm a young liberal to the seat formally held by Scalia…in this case, “both sides do it” or “Republicans to employ the same tactics toward SCOTUS nominations that the Democrats have been employing for the past 30 years” are both complete bull$hit, as no Democratically-controlled Senate has done what McConnell has…

  28. michael reynolds says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Let’s not pretend we haven’t had a big hand in politicizing SCOTUS appointments. We think we were right, but that doesn’t alter the fact that we did in fact set aside the simple qualifications issue and go searching for particular outcomes. This is all part of the poison that has flowed from the abortion issue.

  29. Gustopher says:

    So Mavericky.

    Can the administration send out the Federal Marshalls to round up the senate and keep them in the senate chambers until they vote? Police have been using mace and Tasse’s as a compliance tool for a while now, so maybe we could get a national debate on the merits of that at the same time.

  30. bill says:

    nah, they’ll cave just like they did during every test they were given. that’s why the voters sent them the “trump” message. maybe they’ll “get it” now?

  31. An Interested Party says:

    maybe they’ll “get it” now?

    Not really, as that messenger is about to go down to a spectacular defeat…

  32. dxq says:

    @MarkedMan:

    CNN:

    On the campaign trail, Clinton has praised Garland and urged the Senate to act. But she has not made a firm commitment to putting his name forward again if she were to win the presidency.
    And then there is pressure from some key constituents. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka praised Garland at a recent breakfast according to USA Today, but he said he would not necessarily back his re-nomination if Clinton were to win. “There could be somebody better, and if somebody better comes along, we’ll support him,” Trumka said.
    Clinton will inherit the vetting books compiled by lawyers in the Obama administration concerning other candidates who were discussed before Obama picked Garland, such as Srinivasan.
    And progressives have plenty of favorite outside-the-box candidates in mind. Someone like Judge Pamela Harris — who was placed on the DC circuit after the so called “nuclear option” was triggered. Or Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who sits on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Or Sen. Elizabeth Warren?
    But if Clinton were to win, she may not want to engage in an immediate battle royale over the Supreme Court. Garland is eminently qualified, and given the fact that the next president will likely have an opportunity to fill more than one vacancy on a bench that currently consists of three justices in their late 70s and early 80s, she would likely have other opportunities.
    “She might stick with Garland because it’s easy — there would be less risk of a fight,” Steed said.
    Jawando said Clinton will make the court a priority. “Secretary Clinton has always been very engaged in the nominations process because she understands how much is at stake in the courts,” she said. “The next president may have the opportunity to dramatically reshape the Supreme Court.”

    that’s some of it, but also, Garland’s been a team player, and he’s been treated poorly by the cretins in the GOP, and so I would keep him as the nominee out of respect.

    Anyway, Kennedy’s likely to retire in a few years, and by the time Clinton leaves, SCOTUS will possibly have 6 liberals on it. Definitely 5, possibly 6. So there’s room to breathe.

  33. Tony W says:

    @bill: Yes, if only the Republicans could just be belligerent enough to really get something done.

    Step 1 – D’s propose something controversial, like feeding hungry American children
    Step 2 – R’s fight it tooth and nail, shutting down the government completely and putting thousands out of work.
    ….something…..
    ….something further…..
    Profit!!

  34. al-Alameda says:

    @bill:

    nah, they’ll cave just like they did during every test they were given. that’s why the voters sent them the “trump” message. maybe they’ll “get it” now?

    I’m pretty sure most Republicans would consider Hillary to be a lame duck on Inauguration Day 2017 – that’s 4 years of refusing to confirm any Clinton nomination that is not ideologically aligned with Alito or Thomas.

    The current Republican Party is an acid bath – and I do not mean to denigrate acid baths.

  35. Mu says:

    The interesting part it that this only works as long as the Republicans hold on to both houses. As the house sets the senate calendar, a Democratic house can send the Senate on a long enough vacation to allow recess appointments.
    Now, taking that, you could argue that if you have the majority of both houses you should have a word in the appointment of important figures like SCOTUS judges.

  36. Slugger says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: He is 80 years old and has had a brush with melanoma. He is married to a perfect woman, a rich heiress who owns a beer distributorship, which ought to cover any material needs. His ego should be focusing on his legacy. Retiring gracefully would enhance his legacy. Continuing to work risks a Joe Paterno situation where a life of achievement is forever soiled by senile mistakes.

  37. Pch101 says:

    McCain is trying to prove to the base that he isn’t a RINO.

    There are two problems with this: (a) what the rabble dismisses as “RINOs” were Republicans before the rabble joined the party and (b) the rabble won’t give him credit, anyway. Even with this, McCain isn’t enough of a jerk to please them.

  38. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @bill: Listening to you is like revisiting my conversations with leftist friends back in the good ol’ days. Spooky…
    Eventually, they’re going to have to decide to triangulate you guys under the bus just like back then, too.

  39. IAdmitIAmCrazy says:

    If there ever is a Senate decision that should require a super-majority, it is that of the confirmation of life-time judges. The Supreme Court in particular is a highly political court. Maybe it wasn’t intended as such but in particular in the Anglo-American tradition with the importance of precedents, it has become so, and the course is hardly to be reversed.
    Particularly, in this highly charged and divisive political environment, it would seem to me that it would be helpful to term limit the higher judges, say twelve or eighteen years, with no extensions, and to stagger the terms in such a way that each president has a definite chance to nominate justices on all levels. An “irresponsible” super-majority “obstruction” to confirmation would be far more difficult to defend. The ideological balance would probably come about because different presidents would (continue to) nominate judges of different ideological colours. I know, a constitutional amendment would be required and the transformation process could be messy. But there just might be a tiny chance that both sides could agree to such a de-escalation.

  40. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @dxq: The all-time grandstand political play here would be for Garland to request that the House and Senate act on his nomination before the election with the understanding that if they don’t, he feels that it would be better to agree with them and allow the next President a clean slate. I fully expect that he’s not that type of a political playah, but you can’t nevah tell.

  41. MarkedMan says:

    @Tyrell:

    would also like to hear their opinions on famous cases: Booth conspirators’ “trial”, Nuremberg, Kennedy assassination, Jack the Ripper case

    I can’t find it using the google, but I think this may have actually happened with one of the justices (Scalia?). Every once in a while someone puts together a court case that Van Gogh was murdered or Napoleon was poisoned or Shakespeare was really Francis Bacon. They have arguments on both sides with real lawyers, and real judges sit on the bench, give a verdict and then everyone has drinks and talks about it.

  42. Tyrell says:

    @MarkedMan: That sounds fascinating.

  43. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan: The Shakespeare Theater of Washington does a mock court every year based on some famous drama. This year it’s Romeo and Juliet:

    The Shakespeare Theatre Company Bard Association’s Winter Mock Trial
    Romeo & Juliet: Wrongful Deaths?
    Monday, December 12, 2016
    Sidney Harman Hall
    610 F Street NW
    Washington, DC 20004
    7:00 p.m. Argument
    8:20 p.m. Decision
    8:30 p.m. VIP Reception

    BENCH:
    Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Supreme Court of the United States, presiding
    Judge Thomas B. Griffith, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
    Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
    Judge Robert L. Wilkins, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
    Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
    COURT MARSHAL:
    Marshal Pamela Talkin, Supreme Court of the United States
    ADVOCATE:
    Karl A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia

  44. Moosebreath says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Response outsourced to Ed Kilgore:

    “But McCain’s statement actually represents a historic moment — a departure from norms that could well lead to the death of all but the most token signs of bipartisanship in Washington. Only a very few Supreme Court nominations have been rejected by Congress over the years. While divided partisan control of the presidency and Senate has made SCOTUS confirmations trickier, it has hardly closed the door: A Democratic-controlled Senate has confirmed 11 nominees for the Court made by Republican presidents [since 1955]. There certainly never has been a time when senators of one party have categorically refused to consider, sight-unseen, SCOTUS nominations by presidents from the other party.”

  45. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Slugger: I see your point, but his ego could have focused on legacy anytime and still didn’t. Don’t look for it to happen now either.

    But stopping Hillary from nominating liberals to the Supremes? That’s something an ego could be proud of! Destroy the country? Who gives a shirt?

  46. barbintheboonies says:

    Hey McCain Is that how you plan to win the public over? If you think we will stand back this time you`re mistaken. The people are God dammed pissed at this nonsense. Just leave your post if you don`t wish to do your job.

  47. Pch101 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    McCain is laying the groundwork for the establishment effort to take the party back from Trump. Unfortunately for McCain, a kinder, gentler form of tantrum throwing isn’t a smart way to do it.

    The GOP needs to figure out that appeasing its terrorist base will only embolden the rabble. The only way to shift the party’s course is to oust the worst of the bunch, firmly and without apology — the Democrats won’t take them back and there aren’t enough of them to form a viable third party, so they’ll sink like a stone. But for all of their tough talk, the GOP leadership is gutless and not interested in a brawl.

  48. Todd says:

    @IAdmitIAmCrazy:

    If there ever is a Senate decision that should require a super-majority, it is that of the confirmation of life-time judges.

    Oddly enough (or not), there are a few instances in the constitution where a super majority is required such as: override a Presidential veto, ratify a treaty, pass a constitutional amendment, or remove an official who has been impeached.

    If the framers had intended for 60 votes to be required to seat a Supreme Court Justice, isn’t it more likely than not that they would have explicitly spelled out such a requirement in the Constitution itself?

  49. Matt says:

    @EddieInCA: Here in Texas Hillary and the local Democratic party are knocking on doors and leaving pamphlets which includes information on early voting, poll locations, how to help out and a number to call to get a free ride to vote. Also the local regional transport authority is offering free rides for early voting and voting on election day.

    I’ve lived here since 09 and I’ve never seen anything like the ground game they have going on right now. I would strongly assert that Hillary learned a lot from Obama’s campaign and that they believe Texas is in play. It’s downright an impressive operation and re-affirms my decision to vote for her. I value competency over any pet issue of mine.

  50. Tom Fuller says:

    Bullcorn. They will cave, as they have many times before. America is in deep trouble.

  51. Tony W says:

    @Pch101:

    The only way to shift the party’s course is to oust the worst of the bunch, firmly and without apology — the Democrats won’t take them back and there aren’t enough of them to form a viable third party,

    But without the deplorables, the Republicans don’t have enough to win elections.

    And that’s job one.

    Edit: Perhaps a more interesting approach would be to moderate stances such that they siphon moderates and push the Democrats to the left. Now that would be interesting.

  52. IAdmitIAmCrazy says:

    @Todd: No disagreement there.Maybe it’s presumptious but I thought I have the liberty to make suggestions that transcend the constitution. (After all, I am not even a citizen nor a resident. However, as most citizens of the world, and particularly of a NATO country, we are too much affected by US politics to not participate in the discussion).
    I myself have wondered how a simple Senate rule should be allowed to hamper so thoroughly the normal legislative process. Thus, in order to be consistent, let’s include the super majority in the confirmation at least, of Supreme Court Justices ─ but dump the Senate rule for the rest.

  53. C. Clavin says:
  54. Pch101 says:

    @Tony W:

    Placating the base and treating them all as a single amorphous group doesn’t help the Republican leadership because the noisiest among the base are out of control.

    What the establishment should do is to get the members of the base to realize that it is necessary to strike compromises with members of ones own party and to chill out with the most extreme crazy talk. That doesn’t mean that the entire base has to leave, but they do need to show the door to the worst among them as they rein in the rest.

    It isn’t possible to operate any large organization when one of the factions within is behaving like infants. Republican leadership would appear to be an oxymoron.

  55. C. Clavin says:

    The meltdown is nearly complete.
    Yesterday in CO Trump, who during the primaries constantly crowed about good polling, said now he doesn’t trust the polls. Unskewed, anyone?

    “You can’t believe anything you see…I don’t even believe the polls. I see these polls and they’re not terrible. They’re sort of good. Actually if the people come out and vote, they’re very nervous. I have a feeling this is another Brexit…Let’s say we’re tied, then how come we have thousands and thousands of people, thousands and thousands?”

    Here’s a hint…you’re not tied…you are getting your a$$ kicked by a girl. Grab some of that, you big orange pu$$y.
    Then Trump went on to brag about his favorite source of information…

    “Forget the press, read the internet, study other things…Don’t go for the mainstream media. I do get a lot of honesty over the internet”.

    If Clinton cannot drag him over the edge and into the abyss tonight…it’s because she isn’t trying.

  56. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Let’s not pretend we haven’t had a big hand in politicizing SCOTUS appointments. We think we were right, but that doesn’t alter the fact that we did in fact set aside the simple qualifications issue and go searching for particular outcomes. This is all part of the poison that has flowed from the abortion issue.

    I would put it out there it’s actually Congress’ implicit job to grill the hell out of a candidate. I do not want them rubber-stamping someone who would wield the powers of the Judicatory so recklessly. A functional and healthy Congress *should* have deep rigorous hearings and any nominee should know they’re due 10 rounds in the ring before the bench. You are right that hunting to see how they turn on certain issues has become the point rather then a by-product of the process; still, it’s important to know if they’re pro-#Repealthe19th or something of that nature. In terms of basic rights and way of life we’ve achieved, putting someone actively against them into a lifelong position of power is asking for it. Too many nuts ruins the Chex Mix.

    However, Republicans have taken it to the extreme as is their wont lately. It’s the difference between grilling your potential new son-in-law more harshly then normal vs the full-on Meet the Parents treatment, a screaming argument vs dishes flying and punches thrown. Neither is ideal. One may setup a tendency for the other but how many people argue regularly without resorting to chucking the china to make their point? We have an adversarial attitude in Congress and have for quite some time. That’s not gonna change but it doesn’t mean the GOP should take Jack Byrnes as a role model.

  57. KM says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Let’s say we’re tied, then how come we have thousands and thousands of people, thousands and thousands?”

    Think anyone’s told him he needs MILLIONS to win? He most likely has thousands and thousands of voters….. Hillary has the rest of the population of the US in the bag.

    Also, Everything on the Internet is true! Bon jour y’all!

  58. michael reynolds says:

    @Moosebreath: @KM:

    The question I chose to answer was not, “Who’s worse?” but, “Who’s to blame?”

    I’ve watched a lot of SCOTUS confirmations. They amount to, “Whaddya think of Roe?” The Senators twist themselves into knots asking while pretending not to ask, and the nominees lie through their teeth and pretend they have no opinion. It’s all empty theater. And we Democrats are part of that theater troupe, part of the whole absurd exercise in denial and dishonesty and naked partisanship.

  59. dxq says:

    Steve DeaceVerified account
    ‏@SteveDeaceShow

    To hold on to their congressional majorities, Republicans should promise voters they’ll impeach Hillary by 2018.

    If you vote GOP these days I assume you’re a bad person.

  60. barbintheboonies says:

    @KM: Have you looked at congress lately, or for that matter all of Washington`s finest. We keep getting Shi$ because we only have Shi& to pick from. Money has kept us from making any changes to that.

  61. Pete S says:

    @bill: I assume by “cave” you mean “do the job they are receiving generous pay for”? Members of the House and Senate are there to do at least some governing, not just mindless obstruction.

    I understand that the “burn everything down” contingent is large and vocal right now in the GOP. That is still no excuse for the electoral equivalent of hiring arsonists to staff the fire department.

  62. Pch101 says:

    @IAdmitIAmCrazy:

    In addition to being crazy, you’ve obviously never read Federalist 76.

    Hamilton regarded the Senate’s advice and consent as a check-and-balance against a bad decision that was ultimately the president’s decision to make.

    The last thing that Hamilton would have wanted is a Senate supermajority, as he specifically explains why the Senate should not be making the appointments. The Senate’s role is to deter the president from making bad choices, not to bless every aspect of the nominees and to run all of them through the ringer.

  63. Gavrilo says:

    @Pete S: @dxq:

    Yes, it was totally cool when Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and 21 other Democrats used a parliamentary procedure to try to prevent a SCOTUS nominee from getting an up or down vote, but when Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley do it, it’s terrible. Got it!

  64. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    I see you can’t answer my challenge to your previous foolish post.
    @C. Clavin:
    So now you are back with more idiocy.
    Only this time you don’t explain it so no one can call you on your BS.
    Probably the best course of action for you given your record.

  65. Pete S says:

    @Gavrilo: You’re still not getting it – there is a difference between “a nominee” and “every nominee”. McCain promised to block every nominee.

  66. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I haven’t responded to you in years, and I don’t think I ever will again. You’re worthless. Every single one of the thousands of comments you’ve made over the years boils down to Democrats = Good/Republicans = Bad. That’s all you do.

  67. wr says:

    @Gavrilo: “I haven’t responded to you in years, and I don’t think I ever will again. You’re worthless. ”

    Translation: Clavin just completely demolished your entire argument in one sentence and left you looking like an even bigger assclown than usual. No wonder you won’t respond to him.

  68. Andrew says:

    Shorter Trump and Co. : Anything that tells me what I want to hear is the truth. Anything else is a conspiracy and therefore wrong!