Congressman Ted Lieu believes that Donald Trump should not be allowed to appoint anyone to The Supreme Court – the most significant domestic power of any President – unless and until Mr. Trump has been cleared of all allegations of illegal or even treasonous collusion with Vladimiir Putin and Russia. That said, The Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to vote on Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, on Monday, April 3. Further, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised that Mr. Gorsuch would be voted on and confirmed by the full Senate before April 7. So, what do Americans need to know about this and how can Americans “vote” in this incredibly important “election”?
1. The “Election” of a Supreme Court Justice is, in many ways, 10 times as important as the election of Donald Trump or any other President. Neil Gorsuch, like any Justice, if confirmed, will serve for life. At 49 he could conceivably serve for 40 years, 10 times as long as Donald Trump’s four-year term.
Donald Trump’s Nominee Will Likely NOT Be Confirmed Unless Republicans “Nuke” The Filibuster
2. Donald Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch very well may be defeated. At the close of the Confirmation Hearings for Mr. Gorsuch, Chuck Schumer announced that the Senate Democrats will be “Filibustering” the nomination. ALL THAT MEANS is that the Senate Democrats, the minority party, will invoke a procedural rule that says that – because it is a really, really important thing – it will take 60 votes to confirm instead of 51. It is VERY likely that Gorsuch will get only 55 or 56 votes, or maybe only 52. (As a citizen, you can weigh in on this and tell your Senator to join the “filibuster” so that it does require 60 votes for this nomination. Tell Your Senators Now)
3. Donald Trump has asked his fellow Republicans, the Majority party in The Senate, to change the rules in order to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed and installed on the Court. What this means is that the Republicans would “blow up” or “nuke” the Senate Rule, (”the Filibuster”) in place since 1837, allowing minority parties to ask for these 60 instead of 51 votes. It is also called “The Nuclear Option” because it permanently destroys the ways things work in Congress and America. (As a citizen, you can weigh in on this and tell your Senator to not change the rules to “nuke” the filibuster. Tell Your Senators Now)
4. Donald Trump and the Senate Republicans can “blow up” the Filibuster all by themselves. While it takes 60 votes to overcome a Filibuster, it only takes 51 votes to change the Senate rules and end it. The Republicans have 52 Senators. If even 50 of them, plus Vice President Pence, vote to change the rules, they will have 51 and the Filibuster will be gone.
What Happens if We “Nuke” The Senate Filibuster?
5. Even so, many Republicans are unlikely to want to change the rules because once “nuked” the Filibuster is likely gone forever, giving Donald Trump and future Presidents more power than Presidents have ever had in the history of The United States. Why? Because under the Checks and Balances of our government Presidents have always had to have at least some of the OTHER party to consent to do really big things like confirm Supreme Court nominees. After the Filibuster is gone, President Trump can appoint virtually anyone he wants – no matter how horrible the other party or the country believes that person is – and the other party and the country can do absolutely NOTHING about it. Some have said that eliminating the “Check and Balance” of The Senate Filibuster would give Donald Trump and every future President the same kind of totalitarian powers that Vladimir Putin has in Russia and that exist in Dictatorships in other countries around the world. End The Filibuster, End Democracy in America