Submitted By: Matthew Howe
For gun-rights advocates, no issue facing the new president is more important than the Supreme Court. There’s an open seat. The Senate wisely refused to allow Obama to appoint his choice that close to an election, so now it’s Trump’s turn.
Senate Democrats led by New York Senator Charles Schumer have vowed to oppose any SCOTUS nominee who is “out of the mainstream.” And by “out of the mainstream” he means “isn’t to the left of Saul Alinsky.”
The filibuster is the one tool Chucky and his gang can use to stop a Trump appointee, and they will. They are good at this kind of stuff and the media always seems to develop selective amnesia about how awful obstructionism when it’s the Democrats putting up the roadblocks.
So, do Senate Republicans step up and repeal the filibuster or not? And if they repeal it for SCOTUS nominees, what about repealing it for all Senate business?
Let’s start with SCOTUS. Frankly, if the Democrats do as promised and obstruct, obstruct, obstruct then my view is have at it. Toss the filibuster on the trash heap of history. Trump would be able to populate the Supreme Court with originalist jurists who would naturally favor gun rights. New York and California’s ridiculous bans on certain features and standard capacity magazines could well be declared unconstitutional. Certain people, I won’t mention by name, could go dig up all those 30 round mags buried in the back yard.
But wait! Eventually the Democrats will win the White House again, theoretically. Deprived of the filibuster, the Republicans won’t be able to stop whatever anti-gun nightmare SCOTUS nominee the Democrat President (Elizabeth Warren?) drags out of the leftist swamp of the lower courts.
True, but irrelevant. Other than delaying the vote on Merrick Garland long enough to get past the 2016 election, Republicans have never once effectively opposed a liberal SCOTUS nominee. Look at the way Kagan and Sotomayor sailed through their confirmation hearings.
So will a hypothetical future Republican Senate use the filibuster to effectively stop President’s (Chelsea Clinton) pick for the court? I wouldn’t put any serious money on it.
If the situation is reversed, we know the Democrats will only be too happy to throw whatever monkey wrenches they can into the nomination process. History proves this from Robert Bork to the George W. lower court nominees which gave us the “gang of eight.”
The Democrats can get away with this sort of obstruction because they own the media. When there was talk of the “nuclear option” during the Bush days it was a scandal on a par with Watergate. When Harry Reid actually exercised the nuclear option for lower court and cabinet picks, the media instantly forgot what a threat to democracy such a thing was.
If the filibuster still stands when Democrats control the White House and the Senate, and somehow Republicans do scrape up the guts to oppose a liberal President’s picks, how long do you think that filibuster is going to survive? Snowflake and a blow torch? Exactly. The Democrats will dismember the filibuster and dissolve the pieces in acid until all that’s left is a dim memory and a stain in the bathtub.
This is the hard reality: the SCOTUS filibuster is already a dead man walking, so why wait? If the Democrats play hardball on SCOTUS nominees, then let’s give it a dignified death now and get about the work of packing the Supreme Court with men and women who actually understand that the Supreme Law of the Land is carved in stone and not some “living and breathing” ball of mush they can shape to their will, at least not without the high hurdle of a constitutional amendment.
What about the filibuster for legislation? Again, the potential benefits are huge. The only thing that’s going to stop National Reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act will be Senate Democrats filibustering.
Then again, there is the same downside. Throw out the filibuster now and when the Dems control the Senate once again, it’s lights out for gun rights. Assault weapons ban, waiting periods, universal background checks, no-fly, no buy, mag caps, bans on “armor piercing” and “hollow point” bullets, one gun a month, hell even registration could pass by a simple majority in the Senate. We’d only have the House and hopefully a pro-2A SCOTUS to stop them, which is a thin rope to hang your gun rights on.
So maybe it makes sense to keep the filibuster in place for legislation, right?
Because, as with SCOTUS nominees, the horse has already left the barn and all repealing the filibuster does is lock the door behind it. The second Democrats regain power in the Senate you can be sure the first thing they’ll do is drop the filibuster faster than a radioactive copy of The Road to Serfdom. They are going to be so desperate to roll back whatever “damage” Trump does to their utopian vision that they will not let the filibuster stop them. Political history going back to Reagan shows the Democrats will use every trick in the book, and even make up new ones, to push their agenda with the Republicans always playing a lame game of catch-up.
The final argument against repealing the filibuster for SCOTUS nominees and legislation is that it would create such a firestorm of criticism that Republicans will lose control of the Senate for all time. Don’t drink that Koolaid. The filibuster is not the number one priority for most people — not having a job and Mexican heroin killing their kids are a little further up the list.
History is a great teacher. When Ted Cruz shutdown the Senate we were told, by the media and by Democrats, hell even by other Republicans, of the lasting damage this would do to the party. Then the 2014 midterms happened. When Mitch McConnell, no doubt after chewing down a month’s worth of Viagra, refused to move forward with the Merrick Garland appointment, we were told again that this was the end of the Republicans in the Senate. Well, guess who still has the majority? And 2018 is looking pretty choice for picking up a few seats if they don’t mess it up too badly.
So I say screw it. Dump the filibuster in its entirety and get to work ramming through legislation that will not only help gun owners, but help the country. The filibuster’s days are numbered, so why let Democrats have first crack at a filibuster-free Senate?
We need to get as much done as possible in the next four to eight years as a firewall against future leftist regimes.
Because this, literally, may be our last stand.