Jon Tester Opposes Vote To Confirm Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch
The obstructionist senator from Montana, Jon Tester, proved once again that he is on the side of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and not on the side of the people of Montana whom he is supposed to represent. Today, the obstructionist senator voted against proceeding to final confirmation for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch despite Gorsuch being more than qualified for the position.
Senate Republicans were forced to deploy the so-called “nuclear option” Thursday in their drive to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, dramatically changing the way the Senate does business in order to overcome a Democratic filibuster in which Jon Tester participated.
In a fast-paced chain of events that clears the way for Gorsuch to be confirmed by Friday evening, majority Republicans changed Senate precedent so that a Supreme Court nominee can advance to a final vote with a simple majority of 51 senators, as opposed to 60.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared he did so to “restore norms” and get past what he called an “unprecedented” Democratic filibuster.
Minority Leader obstructionist Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., countered with typical liberal fear mongering that the changes could send the Senate and the nomination process “over the cliff.”
Republicans succeeded in making the change on a vote Thursday afternoon. The body then swiftly took another, 55-45 vote to end debate and tee up a final confirmation vote expected Friday.
This was after Democrats initially blocked Gorsuch in a filibuster earlier in the day. Only four clear-thinking Democrats broke ranks — Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. – but Republicans still fell short of the 60 votes needed to proceed, prompting McConnell to overhaul the way the Senate works. Jon Tester chose to join the obstructionists and refused to do his job.
While congressional Republicans and President Trump are now guaranteed to get Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, the impact of the events that played out Thursday could be felt for years, if not decades, to come.
McConnell’s predecessor as Senate majority leader Harry Reid, now retired, took the first step down the “nuclear” road by lowering the threshold for other nominees in 2013 – a controversial move Republicans frequently brought up on the road to Thursday’s proceedings.
Lowering the threshold for a Supreme Court nominee is a more significant step. It means for the foreseeable future, the minority party will have significantly less leverage to oppose any nominee to the highest court in the land, no matter who is president.
Chuck Schumer ridiculously said there will be “less faith in the Supreme Court” going forward.
McConnell, kicking off Thursday’s session, blasted Jon Tester and the other Democrats for the filibuster attempt and accused them of driving the upper chamber to this point. He said their opposition to Gorsuch isn’t about the nominee but “the man who nominated him” – and part of an “extreme escalation in the left’s never-ending drive to politicize the courts and the confirmation process.”
Republicans say Jon Tester and the other Democrats have been unfair to an otherwise eminently qualified nominee and have wrongly cast him as an ideologue.
However, despite exhaustive confirmation hearings where Gorsuch, like many nominees before him, declined to take clear stances on hot-button issues, Democrats claim he would be a staunch conservative in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia, whose seat he would fill on the nine-member court. They pointed to past rulings on cases where he sided with businesses against workers, though he was merely applying the law as written. Democrats also are still furious over Republicans’ refusal to consider former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland despite the agreement of all Senators to allow the new President to nominate a Supreme Court candidate. This was before Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential election.
Democrats, meanwhile, howled over the GOP majority’s move to deploy the “nuclear option” to get Gorsuch approved in the end. They warn it will drastically change the way the Senate operates for the worse.