While the Oval Office tries to concentrate on the two important visits this week by Egypt and China’s Presidents its mind will also be on the Senate. A vote in that House will have major consequences not only for the Supreme Court but also for the legislative future of the presidency.

Vacancy

This week #The Senate will decide on the confirmation of Neil #Gorsuch to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year.

When #Donald Trump nominated the judge of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado the Democrats reacted in anger as the Republican majority had refused to even consider Barack Obama’s replacement for the position.

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With the Republicans holding only a single seat majority in the Senate this ensured a bitter battle for the confirmation.

Filibuster

After the confirmation hearings the matter is now the subject of a formal debate in the Senate and all the past conflicts are coming home to roost. The confirmation hearings failed to ensure that enough Democrats would vote for Gorsuch to avoid a time wasting filibuster in the House.

Now Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans will need to consider their options to allow the matter to be finalized as soon as possible.

Undoubtedly they will be researching the Senate regulations as they did when they banned Democrat Elizabeth Warren from reading a letter by Coretta Scott King during the debate for the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions but this may well have long term consequences for Republican ambitions to reshape the future Supreme Court as other Justices resign.

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Midterms

The Republican leadership is also well aware of popular protests against White House legislation such as the Moslem ban and the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act, supported by record low popularity for a President in his first three months in Office.

These issues transfer into worries for next year’s midterms where the Republican face the possibility of losing at least the Senate majority. This in turn would mean any change of regulations now would impact on the second half of President Trump’s term and thus delay or block any future legislation or even any future nominations to the Supreme Court.

Tactics

In addition to this consideration, the Republicans will also need the cooperation of the Democrats to avoid a government shutdown for budget reasons at the end of the month. Without forgetting #Donald Trump’s proposed budget which is opposed by some Republicans, as well as all the Democrats.

#Mitch McConnell and his closest confidants will now need to carefully consider their options.

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They can force the confirmation and thus ensure further delays on other issues further on down the track. Or they can negotiate with the Democrats to reduce the delays as much as possible for the confirmation and the other matters to be debated in the near future.

Whatever solution they find will be sure to at least anger the occupant of the White House who has little patience for the tactics of politics. Yet these are the realities that he should have expected when he decided to run for office two years ago.

In any case, the Senate will continue to be a bitter battlefield between Republicans and Democrats and without doubt continue to be a source of frustration for Donald Trump for what will seem to him to be a very long time.

This too is one of the prices that those in power in a Democracy must pay. Numbers always count, especially for the President.