Donald Trump won the Presidency because evangelical and conservative voters trusted him to keep his word and appoint conservative Supreme Court justices.
Democrats began to beat their chests that they would resist any nominee Trump made and filibuster his selection.
And when Trump finally announced his nominee, it immediately became clear the Democrats were in for a massive defeat.
In a primetime event, Trump revealed he had selected Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to replace Antonin Scalia.
Gorsuch’s nominee was cheered across the conservative spectrum.
Ben Shapiro – an ardent #NeverTrump who also correctly warned that John Roberts was not much of a conservative when George W. Bush nominated him – praised the selection.
“During the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump spent an inordinate amount of time on the campaign trail promising to fill Justice Scalia’s vacant seat with someone of like judicial philosophy and record. I was highly skeptical. In fact, I declared with misguided confidence that there was “zero shot” that Trump would “appoint a conservative.”
Thank you, President Trump.
President Trump kept his promise to appoint a textualist to fill Scalia’s seat. Judge Neil Gorsuch of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, by all available indicators, follows Justice Scalia’s jurisprudential philosophy – and even goes further than Scalia did in certain directions regarding separation of powers.”
While the Gorsuch selection was not surprisingly praised by conservatives, the Democrats plan to filibuster his nomination and block Trump from filling the seat took a hit when even liberals praised Gorsuch for his intellect and qualifications.
Obama’s former Solicitor General Neil Katyal sang his praises.
Glowing statement about Gorsuch from former Obama acting Solicitor General @neal_katyal pic.twitter.com/KQk9Y8Rxsj
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 1, 2017
Republicans hold 52 Senate seats.
In order to filibuster Gorsuch’s nomination, Democrats can afford to lose no more than seven votes.
But if they proceed down the path of unyielding obstruction, Republicans can invoke the “nuclear” option and change Senate rules to require just 51 votes for confirmation.
Harry Reid already changed Senate rules to require a simple majority vote for all administration political appointees and judicial nominations other than the Supreme Court.
Republicans sound ready to nuke the filibuster should Democrats block Gorsuch.
And many Democrats may be wary of losing the filibuster over a supremely qualified and capable nominee like Gorsuch.
Making matters more difficult, Gorsuch was confirmed to the Tenth Circuit by a 95-0 vote of the Senate in 2006.
Voting for Gorsuch’s confirmation were Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and John Kerry.
12 current Democratic Senators also voted for Gorsuch in 2006.
They are trapped in a corner and will likely be forced to give Gorsuch the votes necessary for confirmation.