Not Equal: Not One Current Republican Senator Has Ever Filibustered a Supreme Court Nominee

Make no mistake about it, there is only one party at fault for the likely so-called nuclear option in the United States Senate to end potential filibusters for Supreme Court nominees.  As Leader McConnell stated:

Later today, due to the threat of an unprecedented partisanfilibuster, I’ll file cloture on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  It should be upsetting to everyone that our colleagues across the aisle have brought the Senate to this new low, and on such an impressive nominee with such broad bipartisan support. 

Judge Gorsuch is independent, he’s fair, he’s got one of the most impressive resumes we’ve ever seen, and he’s earned the highest possible rating from the group the Democratic Leader calls the "gold standard" for evaluating judicial nominations. 

No one seriously disputes his sterling credentials to serve on the Court.  And yet, in the Judiciary Committee, Democrats just withheld support for him.  On the floor, Democrats say they’ll launch a partisan filibuster against him — something Republicans have never done. No one in the Senate Republican Conference has ever voted to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee. Not one Republican has ever done that.

Later today, colleagues will continue to debate the nomination of Judge Gorsuch. They’ll discuss how completely unprecedented it would be for Democrats to actually follow through on this filibuster threat — to actually block an up-or-down vote for this nominee even though a bipartisan majority of the Senate supports his nomination — and what the negative consequences would be for the Senate if they succeed. 

I’ll be listening with interest.  I hope Senators in both parties will listen as well.  

Notice, that “No one in the Senate Republican Conference has ever voted to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee.”  Democrats have done this before to Justice Samuel Alito, including many current Senate Members and Democrat Party leaders such as then-Senators Biden, Clinton, and Obama.  Bolded below, among the 25 who voted to filibuster Alito, are current Senate Members:

Bayh (D-IN) Biden (D-DE) Boxer (D-CA) Clinton (D-NY) Dayton (D-MN) Dodd (D-CT) Durbin (D-IL) Feingold (D-WI) Feinstein (D-CA) Jeffords (I-VT) Kennedy (D-MA) Kerry (D-MA) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Menendez (D-NJ) Mikulski (D-MD) Murray (D-WA) Obama (D-IL) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Sarbanes (D-MD) Schumer (D-NY) Stabenow (D-MI) Wyden (D-OR)

By contrast, not one single Republican voted to filibuster Justices Sotomayor or Kagan.  The two sides are not equal.  Democrats are the ones who are forcing the rule change and “nuking” the Senate.  Republicans are standing up for the people who spoke in the election in 2016.  Thank you to Leader McConnell, Republicans and principled Democrats such as Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, and Joe Donnelly.