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Thread: Reid: 'I have set the Senate' for nuclear option

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  1. #1
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    Reid: 'I have set the Senate' for nuclear option

    October 24, 2016, 01:58 pm

    Reid: 'I have set the Senate' for nuclear option

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is predicting a Democratic-majority Senate next year could break out the "nuclear option" to change the rules on Supreme Court nominations.
    The outgoing Democratic leader told Talking Points Memo that he's paved the way for what would be a historic change of the Senate's rules, allowing Supreme Court nominees to bypass a 60-vote procedural requirement and be approved by a simple majority.

    "I really do believe that I have set the Senate so when I leave, we’re going to be able to get judges done with a majority," he said. "It’s clear to me that if the Republicans try to filibuster another circuit court judge, but especially a Supreme Court justice, I’ve told 'em how and I’ve done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It’ll have to be done again."

    Reid's comments come as Senate Republicans have refused to give Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing or a vote for more than eight months. They argue that the vacancy from Justice Antonin Scalia's death should be filled by the president's successor.

    Reid, who has previously floated changing the rules in 2017, added to TPM that if Republicans "mess with the Supreme Court, it'll be changed just like that in my opinion. So I’ve set that up. I feel very comfortable with that.”

    In 2013 Senate Democrats changed the filibuster rules on most of Obama's nominees, allowing them to get approved by a simple majority, but left the 60-vote hurdle intact for Supreme Court nominations.

    However, the 2013 shift — the most significant change to Senate floor procedure in decades — has sparked years of backlash from Republicans, who warned that it undercuts a minority party's ability to block a president's nomination.

    Democrats have repeatedly blasted GOP leadership for ignoring Garland's nomination but face an uphill battle to get his nomination through the Senate. Under current Senate rules they would need 60 votes — meaning Republican support — to get Garland approved this year.

    With Reid retiring, any push to change the filibuster rules if Democrats win back the Senate would have to come from Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is expected to be the next Democratic leader.

    The New Yorker's office declined to comment Monday on Reid's remarks.

    Schumer also sidestepped a question about a potential rules change on Supreme Court nominations earlier this month, telling CNBC's John Harwood, "I hope we won't get to that. And I'll leave it at that."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Harry Reid, sit down and shut-up. I hope the Republican wins this Senate seat!!!

    GO TRUMP GO!!!!!
    Last edited by Judy; 11-26-2016 at 08:31 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Danger! Obama could put Merrick Garland on Supreme Court in December

    By Ed Straker November 22, 2016

    Last week, I warned that if Congress adjourned for the year too soon, it could open a window to give President Obama a Supreme Court pick. That's because of a provision of the Constitution that allows the president to make recess appointments that can last two or more years. Now we get word that Congress is planning to adjourn early, which will give Obama an opportunity to appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
    This discussion is fairly complex, involving both constitutional and statutory law, so bear with me.
    1) Why does Congress want to adjourn early? Members of Congress want to adjourn early this year so they can kill last-minute Obama regulations. According to a 1996 law, Congress has 60 legislative days in which to disapprove of presidential regulations. If Obama makes some horrendous last-minute regulations, by ending its session early, Congress has more time to overrule those regulations. That's why congressional leaders are tentatively planning to adjourn by December 9.
    2) What does this have to do with the Supreme Court vacancy? Under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution:
    The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.
    Courts have interpreted "recess" to mean a ten or longer-day gap between sessions of the Senate. That means Obama, during the recess, could appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, since by adjourning for the year on December 9, the Senate will be gone for far longer than ten days.
    3) But doesn't Congress have the power to say whether it is in recess or not? Kind of. In NLRB v. Noel Canning, the Supreme Court said Congress has the power to decide whether it is in recess or not, but only up to a certain point. If Congress does not at least hold pro forma sessions, it cannot say it is in recess (see pages 4-5 of the actual opinion).
    4) But wouldn't an appointment last only until the beginning of January? Note the words of Article II, Section 2 above. Note the word next, as in "not this session, but the next one." The one that's going to last for two years. That's how long Garland would be on the court.
    5) But Article II, Section 2 talks about vacancies occurring during a recess. This isn't the situation here. Not true. The actual "vacancy" does not have to begin during the recess. Only the appointment need occur during the recess. That's how the Article II, Section 2 has been interpreted:
    Presidents have used the Recess Appointments Clause to fill not only vacancies that occur during recesses, but also those that initially arose when the Senate was in session.
    6) But couldn't Congress declare itself in recess for purposes of recess appointments but still hold pro forma sessions? No.
    7) You don't know what you're talking about! Ryan and McConnell would never be dumb enough to make such a move! Don't be so sure. Even if they are aware of Article II, Section 2, they may think Obama would never be bold enough to make such an appointment. Why else would they be making plans to give Obama such a window unless they never suspected he would use it?
    I'm an attorney. I went to Harvard Law School. I studied constitutional law. I've spent years listening to people like Mark Levin, who are experts on constitutional law. Trust me when I tell you that this is a potential problem.
    If Congress does recess on December 9 without coming back, Obama can appoint Garland to the Supreme Court. We could be in for two years of a solid leftist Supreme Court unless someone on Capitol Hill shows some common sense.
    Ed Straker is the senior writer at and an attorney by training.
    Last edited by artist; 11-27-2016 at 12:57 AM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    That's true he could do that!
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