On Monday, President Trump picked Washington Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy’s spot on the Supreme Court. Well before Trump made this announcement, though, Senate Democrats were gearing up for a fight.
While the Republican majority in the Senate means that Brett Kavanaugh will have favorable odds to be confirmed, the outcome of the upcoming Senate battle is still far from certain. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans cannot afford to lose a single Republican vote if they want to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.
There are at least two Never Trumpers in Congress who may vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation – Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) – giving Democrats a fleeting hope for blocking Trump’s Supreme Court pick. That is, if they can keep their own senators from flipping sides.
Red state Democrats such as Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) are going to be under a lot of pressure in the forthcoming Senate battle, given that their party is pressuring them to vote against Kavanaugh while their constituents are pressuring them to vote for him.
It was the same situation when Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and then both Manchin and Heitkamp listened to their constituents over their party by crossing the aisle and voting for his confirmation.
Now, Chuck Schumer is hoping to avoid a repeat by putting even more pressure on these red state Democrats to tow the party line, warning them that if they vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh that they will lose the support of the Democratic party in their next elections. That’s right, he’s threatening his own party members if they don’t vote the way he tells them to! He’s unhinged!
Thanks to the “nuclear option” put in place by Harry Reid which dictates that Republicans need only a simple majority to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats don’t have too many options left to stop his confirmation. The only hope they still have is to ensure that every Democrat votes against Kavanaugh while also convincing at least one moderate Republican to vote against him as well.
In an interview with Politico, one progressive activist described the situation, saying, “The message from grassroots groups is pretty clear: that if Democratic leadership can keep their caucus unified in doing no harm, we can aim our firepower on Republicans like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and bring full pressure to bear in their states.”
Nevertheless, the odds of Senate Democrats pulling off this strategy remain quite slim. Recognizing the unlikelihood of blocking Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Chuck Schumer made a desperate plea to Donald Trump for him to nominate Merrick Garland – the Obama Supreme Court nominee that was blocked by Senate Republicans.
Of course, the odds of Trump nominating a liberal justice that his party fought tooth and nail to block were magnitudes lower than the odds of Senate Democrats blocking Brett Kavanaugh, and Schumer’s plea to Trump was met with immediate laughs and ridicule.
Regardless of the odds, though, it was a plea that Schumer felt he had to make. Ever since Merrick Garland was blocked by Senate Republicans, the left has been dealt one stinging blow in the Supreme Court after another. Now, for the first time in fifty years, conservatives will have a reliable majority in the Supreme Court assuming that Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed.
What conservatives will do with this Supreme Court majority is yet to be seen, but the one case that is on everyone’s mind is Roe v. Wade – the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States.
Overturning Roe v. Wade has long been something of a pipe dream for pro-life conservatives. Now, though, it’s a possibility, and liberals are doing everything they can to keep it from happening. Blocking the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh may be unlikely, but it’s the only hope Democrats have left if they want to avoid a conservative majority Supreme Court and all of the possibilities that come with it.
In the end, whether Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed or not will come down to a handful of moderate Republicans and Democrats. Chuck Schumer is hoping that his pressure tactics will keep red state Democrats from confirming Kavanaugh, but as we saw when red state Democrats voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch, the will of the constituents most often outweighs the pressure from party leaders.
~ American Liberty Report