OPINION: Blame Harry Reid For Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation.
If you’re upset that Brett Kavanaugh is now an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, don’t go blaming President Trump or anybody else. Blame former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
When Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to replace Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had announced his retirement from the highest court on the land effective July 31, conservatives were on cloud nine while liberals across the nation cringed. Not only was this a chance for President Trump to have TWO SCOTUS nominees that would carry out a conservative majority for decades to come, but it also allowed a slight Republican Senate majority to state their positions on Judge Kavanaugh before midterm elections.
However, this is where Harry Reid comes into play. For almost four decades, nominees made by the President would have needed 60 or more votes to be confirmed, also known as a ‘supermajority’. In mid-November of 2013, Reid decided to enact the ‘nuclear option’, which eliminated most filibusters for executive nominations and would only require a simple majority vote.
Reid ratified this to “allow the confirmation of three judicial nominees by President Obama to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — the most recent examples of what Democrats have long considered unreasonably partisan obstruction by Republicans.”
Then- Senate Minority Leader and now-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said during a filibuster to Reid: “You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.”
Senator Reid did not allow moderate Democrats in the Senate Chamber to speak freely and make open suggestions, but rather made a slapdash executive decision to allow Obama administration picks to be easily confirmed. Yet, McConnell played this one perfectly.
He was aware that, despite the 51-49 Republican Senate majority, moderates like Senator Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Flake, as well as Democrats like Joe Manchin and Bob Corker, would be given a chance to either cross party lines or convince their Senate colleagues to vote for Kavanaugh.
So, Senator Reid, thank you for confirming Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Jorge Velasco is the Founder and CEO of theDailyLead.