The Washington Post editorial board criticized Senate Democrats for attempting to block the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court because of their anger over the failed Merrick Garland nomination last year.
The editorial board called Gorsuch a “well-qualified” judge and reminded readers that Democrats had abolished the filibuster for other nominations when they were in the majority. And while the Republicans are not in favor of changing the filibuster rules for Supreme Court nominees, they can do it since they are in the majority:
“Democrats are preparing to filibuster a well-qualified judge, marking the first time a partisan filibuster has been mounted against a high court nominee. In response, Republicans are preparing to change the rules and eliminate the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees, ending the minority party’s ability to demand meaningful consultation on presidential appointments to any major office (since Democrats, when they were in the majority, had already abolished the filibuster for other nominations). The Senate’s 52 Republicans cannot overcome a filibuster of Mr. Gorsuch without the help of eight Democrats. But they can permanently change Senate rules by simple majority vote.”
While the Post editorial board called McConnell’s actions last year a “cynical power play,” they thought that the Democrats might be making a tactical mistake by trying to hold up Gorsuch’s confirmation vote, especially since he has been deemed well qualified to serve by the American Bar Association and some former Obama administration officials:
“Anger about the majority leader’s cynical power play may be clouding Democrats’ judgment, even about their own tactical interests. They have tried to paint Mr. Gorsuch as unacceptably radical, despite the fact that former Obama administration officials, the American Bar Association and many others have deemed him well-qualified to serve. Moreover, postponing the discussion over abolishing the filibuster until Mr. Trump’s next nomination, if any, would put Democrats in a stronger position and at least might pressure the president to select a more reasonable nominee next time than he otherwise might.”
Even The Washington Post recognizes the Democrats’ hypocrisy on this issue, as well as the futility of filibustering Gorsuch’s nomination, given the fact that the Republicans can change the rules and invoke the “nuclear option” to require only a simple majority vote for confirmation. Neither the Post nor most members of the Senate want to see that occur, as it would lead to more partisan Supreme Court nominees and a more politically charged court when the President has a Senate majority.