To Nuke or Not to Nuke?

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Recently, the Senate Judiciary Committee started confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Goresuch. And to be honest, it was a snoozefest unless you were a Democrat looking to score political points. Then it was a snoozefest and a series epic fails.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats have announced they would oppose Goresuch’s nomination and would attempt to filibuster it. Basically, a filibuster is when a Senator or a group of Senators attempt to derail progress on a particular bill or nomination by speaking for long periods. In other words, it’s what they do when they’re on Sunday news programs, just without as many cameras around.

Senate Republicans, on the other hand, have a not-so-secret weapon. Thanks to the machinations of former Senate Majority Leader and exercise equipment victim Harry Reid, the Senate can approve nominations with a simple majority, a move known as the nuclear option. Typically, judicial nominations needed 60 votes to win appointment, but thanks to Reid, that’s no longer the case.

Since I have no life to speak of, I have given the arguments for and against turning the Senate chamber into Chernobyl on the Potomac some thought, and I figured out the nuclear option may be a foregone conclusion at this point. Republicans have the votes in the Senate just on a straight party line vote to approve Goresuch, and Democrats haven’t figured out how to stop shooting themselves in the foot with a Howitzer to realize they’re not in a good position politically to make a stand. Having said that, I think I might have come up with a way to curtail the fallout from using the nuclear option.

One of the main arguments Democrats have raised in opposition to Goresuch revolves around President Barack Obama’s choice to fill the vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia, Merrick Garland. Democrats feel Garland should get a hearing before Goresuch because they feel Garland’s seat was stolen. (Well, that’s what happens when you run an unlikable candidate with the political intelligence of a pet rock.) Republicans have resisted, and with good reason I might add. However, my idea involves giving the Democrats what they want.

Yes, I want Garland to have a hearing.

But here’s where things get interesting. Since the Constitution only requires the Senate to give advice and consent to Presidential appointees, there is no need for a long protracted hearing. Just a simple “yea” or “nay.” All the Senate Judiciary Committee leader Charles Grassley needs to do is open the hearing, say “We don’t approve Garland,” and adjourn. They would be done in time for brunch or an early lunch if they wanted to really draw out the hearing. It’s simple, Constitutional, and removes one of the Democrats’ arguments against Goresuch in one fell swoop.

Then, all the Democrats will have is political reasons to oppose Goresuch, which in all honesty are the only reasons they have to oppose him. And they will look like dumbasses to boot, while Donald Trump gets his Supreme Court nominee approved. That’s a win-win in my book.

Author: Thomas

I'm a small town boy living in the heart of Iowa watching the world go by with my wife and dog.