Is there a method to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s madness? Many political observers are scratching their heads, wondering why he is leading a doomed effort to filibuster the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court justice. The gambit is likely to lead to the nuclear option that will remove the filibuster for justices and open the way for President Trump to pack the high court with conservatives. Where most people see craven capitulation to the left wing base or Custer-like arrogance, CNN sees a Machiavellian strategy that will win the Senate back for #democrats and make Schumer the next Lyndon Johnson..
The idea is that by opposing Gorsuch, a relentlessly reasonable conservative judge, as wild, radical, outside the mainstream fanatic, Schumer will whip up Democrats to turn out in 2018 to #vote his party back to power. Vote for us, he says, or the right to an abortion, same-sex marriage, and maybe even the Miranda warning will be gone.
Trump won the 2016 election partly because of the widespread fear that Hillary Clinton would pack the courts with left wing nutters who would strip people of their civil rights by regarding the Constitution as a “living document.” Speech codes, gun laws, and other restrictions would suddenly become constitutional. Trump has a mandate now to appoint conservatives to the federal courts.
Schumer supposes, according to CNN, that he can use the same strategy to become Senate majority leader and all that implies. One fatal flaw exists in the theory, however. A remarkable number of Senate Democrats who are from red states are up for reelection in 2018. In the states where they hail from, conservative judges are not a bug.
They are a feature.
In any case, it may be too late by the 2018 midterms. Trump may have the opportunity to replace at least one and possible two liberal justices. The ideological balance of the Supreme Court will have been shifted with all that implies. Schumer would have led his caucus in a doomed last stand against Gorsuch for no purpose. The potential for blowback is enormous. #Chuck Schumer