Right Hooks

Harry Reid Threatens Going Nuclear

A Democrat Senate majority might eliminate filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.

Thomas Gallatin · Sep. 5, 2016

Senate Minority Harry Reid shot an early salvo across the bow of the GOP, warning that should Democrats regain control of the Senate in the election they would seriously consider the nuclear option of eliminating filibusters on Supreme Court nominees. This is no empty threat. Recall back in 2013 when Reid eliminated the filibuster in order to push through Barack Obama’s judicial nominees with a simple majority. It’s worth noting, too, as The Daily Signal reports, “When Obama entered the Oval Office, liberal judges controlled just one of the 13 circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Fifty-five successful presidential nominations later, liberal majorities now control nine of those appeals benches, or 70 percent.” Judicial appointments matter.

It’s no small irony that Reid, as leader of the Democrat Senate minority, is currently involved in filibustering against a bill that would provide funds for anti-Zika research, veterans and the military. Traditionally, filibustering has been the tool available to the minority party seeking to force the party in the majority into some form of compromise on pending legislation. Without a super majority, the party in control is bound to work toward some form of bipartisan solution.

Historically, it has been agreed that judicial nominees should receive careful consideration from both parties. Naturally, compromise should be very much a part of this process, but, as the Founders intended, the minority has rights. What Reid is essentially seeking is an end to compromise or bipartisanship in the name of “getting things done.” Given his vehement opposition to the nuclear option when he was in the minority dealing with George W. Bush’s nominees, this is hypocrisy at its finest. It also serves to further illustrate how dangerous a Hillary Clinton presidency would be for conservatives. If Democrats were to win not only the White House but also a slim majority in the Senate, they could be in position to significantly transform the highest court in the land with literally no Republican input or hindrance. Like the passage of ObamaCare, where not a single Republican voted for it, the same would be said of Hillary’s Supreme Court nominees, should the Democrats follow through on Reid’s threat.

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