The announced retirement of Justice Kennedy has left conservatives jubilant in the possibility to add fill another spot on the high court with an originalist. This has some red state Democrats on shaky ground, as any opposition on their part could cost them this year’s election.
The Free Beacon reports:
The nightmare scenario Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) laid out last year when asked in private about whether Democrats should obstruct Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation is coming true with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.
McCaskill warned in leaked audio released last March by the Kansas City Star that Democrat opposition to Gorsuch could end up biting them in the future should more seats open up while President Donald Trump was still in office and Republicans controlled the Senate. Democrats, however, made clear they planned to filibuster his nomination, pushing Republicans to employ the nuclear option, lowering the confirmation threshold to a simple majority.
“I’m very uncomfortable being part of a strategy that’s going to open up the Supreme Court to a complete change,” McCaskill told the donor crowd, explaining that obstruction would simply push Republicans to move to 51 votes for confirmation.
“There are going to be people in this room that are going to say, ‘No, no, no. You cannot vote for Gorsuch,'” she said. “So they move it to 51 votes and they confirm either Gorsuch or they confirm the one after Gorsuch.”
This is good news for Republicans, whose razor thin margin in the Senate will be put to the test this November.