McConnell giving Democrats incentive to pack the courts when we take back the White House, Senate
Next week, Senate Republicans are likely to go nuclear on judges, again. They’ll decide, again, that 51 votes is as good as 60 for the purpose of changing Senate rules in order to get more awful judges into more vacancies—many of which are vacant because of Mitch McConnell’s refusal to allow so many of President Barack Obama’s nominees to advance.
The plan is to dramatically reduce debate time before district court judges receive confirmation votes, from 30 hours to two. That’s despite the fact that McConnell and Trump have already set a record for the number of district court nominations in the first two years of a presidential term. McConnell might allow the pretense of putting the question to the Senate with a 60 vote requirement, to pretend that he’s allowing Democrats a say. “We’re still hoping to have bipartisan support to go forward with the standing order, which would require 60 votes,” he told reporters last week. “In the absence of that, it is still my desire to try to achieve” the rules change.
McConnell doesn’t “hope” for bipartisan support for anything he does, nor does he give a damn if he’s got it. Steamrolling over Democrats is his primary hobby. Then blaming it on the flattened Democrats. Such as sending one member of his leadership team, Texas’ toxic John Cornyn, out to say things like, “It’s pretty clear that they’re willing to do that in 2021 but they’re not willing to do it now, which is not a very principled position.” Because, boy, nothing says “principled” like the McConnell/Cornyn team.
Then they’ll scream about “tit-for-tat” “partisan” politics when Democrats retake the majority and try to mitigate some of the judicial damage McConnell and Trump have wrought. Some Democrats are going to be prone to falling for that label (looking at you, Chris Coons from Delaware). They’re going to have to toughen up. There’s too much at stake to allow the extreme ideologues McConnell and Trump are installing have so much weight in the judicial system.