Democrats’ View of Rules

Here, the Senate’s rules, and Democratic Party Vice Presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine (VA) is exposing Democrat disdain for them.

Here’s the relevant part of  Senate’s rule for changing a Senate Rule, from Rules of the Senate XXII, para 2, regarding a cloture vote to end debate on a motion, including a motion to change a Senate rule [emphasis added]:

…that question shall be decided in the affirmative by three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn—except on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules, in which case the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the Senators present and voting….

Here’s how Senator Harry Reid (D, NV) was able to railroad through the nuclear option that ended filibusters on Presidential nominee confirmation votess for all offices other than Supreme Court Justices, from a Congressional Research Office paper.  In essence, it relies on the fact that an appeal of the Senate’s presiding chair on a point of order ruling is non-debatable, and the appeal is decided by a simple majority vote of the Senators present.

[I]f the chair rules…against the point of order embodying the new interpretation [here, to eliminate (most of) the filibuster of appointee confirmations], it is supporters of change who would have to appeal the decision. There is little likelihood that they could be prevented from doing so, for the right of appeal is understood to be an essential element of the power of the Senate to determine its own rules. The Senate could then potentially overturn the old precedent, and establish the new interpretation, by a simple majority vote on the appeal.

All strictly legal, and all wholly outside the spirit of the rules for changing a rule.  This is the cynicism with which Reid implemented the nuclear option.

And this is the cynicism with which Kaine intends to abolish the filibuster of Supreme Court Justice confirmation votes, too, so as to allow a Democrat-majority Senate to stack the Court with Justices having no respect for the Constitution, but only loyalty to the Democratic Party.

I am a US Senator. I have a prediction—this is not a guarantee—and I’m not revealing inside intel.  I was in the Senate when the Republicans’ stonewalling around appointments caused the Senate Democratic majority to switch the vote threshold on appointments from 60 to 51. And we did it on everything but a Supreme Court Justice.

If these guys think they’re going to stonewall the filling of that vacancy or other vacancies, then a Democratic Senate majority will say, “We’re not going to let you thwart the law.” And so we will change the Senate rules to uphold the law that the court will be nine members.

Notice one thing: the Senate Democratic majority changed the Senate’s filibuster rule—a wholly partisan attack, with no semblance of the Rule’s original two-thirds majority requirement, which would have been too bipartisan to suit the Democrats.  And Kaine is proud of that.

Notice one other thing.  Kaine—proudly—will impose a simple majority action to destroy the ability of a minority party to protect the interests of its minority constituents.  Those folks, who disagree with the majority, simply don’t matter.

Notice one last thing.  Blocking a particular Supreme Court Justice confirmation is in no way a thwarting of the law.  The President has the obligation to offer nominees that satisfy the Senate’s (not the majority party’s) advice and consent—here, it is the President who has the legal obligation to offer nominees to fill the Court’s vacancy.  The Senate has no obligation to rubber stamp any of those nominees, vacancy or no.  Kaine knows this full well.

This is the Democratic Party arrogance and the Democrats’ disdain for American citizens that’s at stake in the Senate elections next week.

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