Today former Senate Leader Harry Reid passed away. Our condolences to his family, and we recognize his lasting impact on the Senate.
Harry Reid's legacy lives on. The most long-lasting part of his legacy may be the changing of the Senate filibuster in a fit of pique over DC Circuit judicial nominees. Ironically, part of the reason for the Republican effort to block DC Circuit nominees was a nonpartisan belief that the DC Circuit does not need as many judges. Republican Judiciary Committee leader Senator Charles Grassley was advocating reducing the number of judges on the DC Circuit, as the caseload did not justify it size. He did this under Republican and Democrat Presidents. Senate Leader Harry Reid changed the rules on a partisan vote to nuke the filibuster in a fit of partisan rage. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell stated at the time:
McConnell was quick to criticize Reid’s plan, accusing Democrats of trying to divert attention from the embattled health care law that has been a drag on the party. McConnell said Democrats were cooking up a “fake fight over judges that aren’t even needed.”
“You’ll regret this and you might regret it even sooner than you might think,” McConnell warned.
That regret came back to haunt the Democrats in 2016, when Justice Scalia died, and in 2017 when Senator Schumer, on a purely partisan filibuster, attempted to block Justice Gorsuch. Following Reid's precedent on judges, Republicans changed the rules, and because of Senator Reid we have Justice Gorsuch today. If Reid had never nuked the filibuster on judges, Justice Gorsuch could have been filibustered, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh certainly would have been.
Last week, Senate Democrats took advantage of the absence of some Republican members to vote on a discharge petition for President Joe Biden's nominee to be the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Rachael Rollins. Rollins' nomination would not have moved forward without trickery from the Democrats:
Rollins's nomination has been shelved in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee since that panel deadlocked in September on whether to report it to the Senate floor, breaking with what Democrats have described as a longstanding tradition of respecting the will of presidents and home-state senators.Read more
The Senate Democrats are at it again. After a marathon session of voting on amendments to the infrastructure package, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer attempted to force a vote on a series of bills that would facilitate a federal takeover of elections including the Corrupt Politicians Act. But as The Houston Chronicle reported, Senator Ted Cruz repeatedly objected to the motions:
In a back-and-forth with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor around 3:30 a.m., the Texas Republican objected repeatedly as the New York Democrat sought consent for the Senate to consider a series of voting bills. Cruz denounced the legislation as “a federal government takeover of elections” and a “massive power grab by Democrats.”Read more
On Tuesday evening, the Senate rejected the Corrupt Politicians Act when it failed to receive the necessary votes to invoke cloture. Democrats are already claiming that the Republicans rejected a common sense compromise, but the reality is that the Manchin "compromise" was not a compromise — it had no bipartisan support. More importantly, the "compromise" was not actually being voted on today. As many Republican Senators, including Leader McConnell and Rules Ranking Member Roy Blunt, pointed out, the bill voted on today was essentially the same as the original.Read more
Former FEC Chair Brad Smith published an op-ed today in the National Review today entitled: “The First Amendment Is Lucky to Have Mitch McConnell.” That is both a great headline and an accurate salute to the Republican Senate Leader at a time when Democrats have declared war on the First Amendment through the Corrupt Politicians Act (H.R.1/S.1). That said, a key part of Senator McConnell’s leadership on the First Amendment is not partisan:
Surprisingly few elected officials are willing to come to the defense of campaigns and other organized efforts to effect change. Americans celebrate their freedoms to speak and organize into groups, but once an organization achieves success, support for its rights tends to give way to concerns about “influence.” It’s rare to find politicians who support equally the freedom to speak of the NRA and the Brady Campaign, the League of Conservation Voters and the Chamber of Commerce, or pro-life groups and Planned Parenthood.
For over a quarter century, Mitch McConnell has stood as the Senate’s most consistent, articulate, and dogged defender of the First Amendment rights these organizations rely on. Way back in 1994, he engineered the defeat of a bill to fund campaigns with Americans’ tax dollars, a policy that remains at the top of the progressive agenda today and that reappears in S. 1. He has frustrated bad ideas from the right, too, such as in 2006, when he was one of only three Senate Republicans to oppose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution permitting the criminalization of flag-burning. That amendment fell just one vote short.Read more
Earlier today, the Senate Rules Committee held a hearing on the Corrupt Politicians Act. As Senator Cruz pointed out, Democrats have made keeping themselves in power their #1 priority for this Congress despite the myriad of important issues facing the country.Read more
Senator Schumer is scared of a primary challenge from far left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He is willing to go to any extreme to appease the radical fringes of the Democratic Party including blowing up the Senate to do so. A good example of this is talk of eliminating the legislative filibuster. Not only have Democrat Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin said they will not vote to repeal the legislative filibuster, but even liberal stalwarts such as Dianne Feinstein have hesitated to do it (she is now showing signs that she might cave to pressure after flip flopping on the issue literally overnight). As Republican Leader McConnell stated last week:
“He is yielding to the pressure of the hard left to turn the Senate into a speedway, as opposed to a place where things are paused and thought over,” McConnell said during an interview with Fox News’s Harris Faulkner. . . .Read more
Over 300 RNLA leaders, members, and friends have submitted a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in support of the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Barrett's nomination has been voted out of the Judiciary Committee and is awaiting confirmation by the full Senate.Read more
Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Committee completed opening statements in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett. That needs to be said because, listening to Democrats, you would think it was a healthcare candidates' forum in New Hampshire. (Hint their message was: "Trump bad, Obamacare good.") RNLA live tweeted the hearing and will live tweet the Senators questioning of Judge Barrett over the next two days. Below are some highlights from the RNLA’s Twitter (@thereplawyer) and others:
Senate Judiciary Dems stuck to Sen. Schumer’s talking points (at least for today), but tellingly none of them disavowed the anti-religious, anti-woman, despicable attacks on Judge Barrett made by their mainstream media surrogates and progressive allies. Like this 👇 https://t.co/i0qT8FzzMx— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) October 12, 2020
President Trump announced today that he will announce his nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday at 5:00pm:
I will be announcing my Supreme Court Nominee on Saturday, at the White House! Exact time TBA.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2020
NEWS: Trump says his announcement on his SCOTUS pick will be at 5p Saturday.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) September 22, 2020