February 15, 2016

If I were Majority Leader

If I were the Senate Majority Leader...

The issue of an Obama appointee replacing Scalia on the Supreme Court would not only not be a matter of discussion it is a question that wouldn't even have to be asked.

But the Republicans have Mitch McConnell so it's something that needs to be discussed, asked about and worried about. So if I could tell McConnell what to do, this is what it would be.

  1. Get unanimous support of the GOP Senate for an immediate floor vote on Obama's nominee.
  2. Get unanimous support of the GOP Senate to vote for cloture.
  3. Get unanimous support of the GOP Senate to vote against the nominee.

The Democrats are insisting that an Obama nominee be considered, so give them what they want. A vote on the nominee.

The problem is, when the Democrats removed the 60 vote requirement for cloture for most judicial nominees they left it in place for nominees to the Supreme Court. Thus 54 republicans voting for cloture on Obama's SCOTUS nominee would not be enough to get the nomination to an up or down vote in the Senate. The cloture vote would require support from at least six democrats.

So the Democrat leadership would have to chose between allowing cloture and losing the vote, or blocking cloture and filibustering Obama's nominee.

Of course if McConnell were capable of playing this kind of hardball he wouldn't need my advice.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:28 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

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