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Senator Merkley of Oregon Sounds Alarm on McConnell's Senate Tricks to Ram Confirmation for Trump's Judges

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Mitch McConnell Destroys The Senate So Trump Can Destroy The Judiciary Mitch McConnell has changed the rules of the Senate so that Donald Trump's judicial picks can get approved even faster. The .nuclear option. that McConnell is ...
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This is far more serious than I had originally determined, and will result in Trump's reshaping so much of America's judiciary, a warped legacy that will go on for decades, even if Trump resigned tomorrow....I hope to compile some other Senate commentaries on this urgent matter.

McConnell has said the rule change was necessary given that roughly 80 percent of Trump administration nominees are being held up.

"The status quo is unfair, unhealthy and unsustainable," McConnell said in an op-ed sent to the Courier Journal this week. "This president and all future presidents deserve a more functional process for building their administrations."

From Martin Longman's brilliant analysis of the Senate history involved in his oped in the 4/1/2019 Washington Monthly:

What makes the nuclear option "nuclear" is that it violates the rules in order to change the rules. It should require a super-majority to change a rule, so using a mere majority to make it so a mere majority can prevail is not supposed to be permissible.

In this case, McConnell is going nuclear to eliminate a problem that he invented. It was only because of McConnell's willingness to abuse the spirit of the rules that Harry Reid eventually succumbed to pressure to fight back in the only way he could.

Many people warned that as soon as Reid took one step down that road, it would open the floodgates to more and more changes to eliminate the minority party's rights in the Senate. Others warned that the Republicans would make the same changes once they were in the same position, so it was foolish for Reid to hold off on the premise that he could preserve comity in the Senate. Both groups were correct.

McConnell was intent on breaking the traditional Senate, and his guiding star is only to do what gives him an advantage in whatever set of circumstances he finds himself.This rule change isn't such a big deal in itself. It only speeds up the process of confirming people who are going to confirmed anyway. But it's galling that McConnell is willing to explain the change by arguing that "Since January 2017, for the first time in memory, a minority has exploited procedure to systematically obstruct a president from staffing up his administration."A benevolent God would strike him dead for making a statement that egregiously self-serving and false.

To quote Senator Merkley:

Mitch McConnell has taken another step shattering the Senate to pack the courts with right-wing ideologues.

First, it was an all-out confirmation blockade, refusing to confirm any Obama nominees to the DC Circuit, often called the nation's second-most important court.

Then, of course, there was the unprecedented theft of a Supreme Court seat. Then using the "nuclear option" to ram through confirmation of a Supreme Court justice with little debate. And now the nuclear option again, this time to enable him to dramatically increase the rate at which Trump nominees get confirmed, with little scrutiny and virtually no debate.

If historians look back wondering who broke America, the answer very clearly will be Mitch McConnell. And that's why it's critical that we fire him as majority leader, put Democrats back in charge, and then fix the Senate that McConnell and the Republicans have so badly damaged.

 

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Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the (more...)
 

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