|Trump shakes hands with Gorsuch|
Progressive op-ed writers E.J. Dionne Jr. ("It’s time to make Republicans pay for their supreme hypocrisy") and Eugene Robinson ("Fighting Gorsuch is hopeless. Democrats should do it anyway") say Senate Democrats should block the Gorsuch nomination, just as Senate Republicans blocked President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the same seat.
To block the Gorsuch nomination, Senate Democrats would have to mount a filibuster when the nomination came to the full Senate for a vote. They don't have a majority in the Senate, the way the Republicans did when they blocked Garland by declining to hold a committee hearing on him, so simply refusing to hold a committee hearing on Gorsuch is not an option for them.
If the Democrats filibustered, Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) could exercise the "nuclear option" to terminate requiring 60 votes in the full Senate to approve any Supreme Court nomination. Then the 52 Republicans in that body could vote Gorsuch in over the votes of the 48 senators who caucus with the Democrats.
I think it would be hypocritical for Democrats who object to the Republicans' blocking of the Merrick Garland nomination to turn right around and do the same thing to Gorsuch. Both sides ought to seek to renew our customary norms political life, not add fuel to the fire that has been consuming it lately.
Mr. Dionne says, "The Garland case was only a particularly egregious example of what we have to fear even more of in the months to come. The road to the outrages we are seeing from Trump was paved by his party’s violation of long-standing norms." I say two wrongs don't make a right. If Democrats turn around and violate long-standing norms just because Republicans did so last year, it just adds one more nail to those august norms' coffin. We Democrats don't need to turn our political struggles into playground brawls. Especially when so doing will not (despite what Mr. Robinson seems to think) help us sway voters in red states, which is what we need to focus on now.