supreme court

Gavel Grab: “The Base Is Very Fired Up” Over Gorsuch Nomination

GORSUCH NOMINATION FIGHT CONTINUES: The public outcry over Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination is strong and growing, says Nan Aron, president of our sister organization Alliance for Justice. “It’s really the first time in so many years that individuals across the country, the base of the party, has gotten energized around the Supreme Court,” said Aron in The New York Times. “I think the base would be very unforgiving to Democrats who prevented a filibuster from taking place. The base is very fired up.”

Claims that Democrats’ decision to maintain the 60 vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees is “forcing” Republicans to go nuclear are simply false. “If Democrats don’t stand up for their beliefs and their constituents, they lose by forfeit. But if Democrats fight, they hold open the chance that they could win a broadly acceptable nominee — and whether not they get that, they win the moral high ground,” wrote Ben Wikler, Washington director of, in an op-ed at The Hill.

Democrats are urging Republicans not to go nuclear, but to instead change the nominee to a more moderate judge. With a partisan fight to confirm an ideologically influenced judge, Republican senators are “profoundly politicizing our highest court and deeply damaging its integrity. This assault on our democracy demands the most robust resistance possible,” wrote The Huffington Post.​

60 VOTE THRESHOLD NOT UNPRECEDENTED: According to The New York Times, Republicans have statistically blocked many more Democratic judicial nominees than the other way around – despite the fact that Republican nominees to the courts have been far less centrist than Democratic nominees. “The failure rate of Democratic nominees to federal trial courts since 1981 has been almost twice as high as the Republican failure rate: 14 percent versus 7 percent. There is also a gap among appeals court nominees: 23 percent to 19 percent. The gap between the parties would be even larger if Democrats hadn’t eliminated the filibuster on lower-court nominees in 2013, allowing Barack Obama finally to fill more judgeships. Even so, Trump has inherited a huge number of vacancies.”

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