Donald Trump has selected Neil Gorsuch as his choice to be our new Supreme Court Justice.
Gorsuch’s education (Columbia, Harvard, Oxford) and background (clerked for two Supreme Court Justices – Anthony Kennedy and Byron White) are stellar. His personal reputation is beyond reproach. And he is solidly conservative.
Democrats, who despise Donald Trump, resent the fact that President Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, did not get a vote (an extremely stupid move by Republicans that gained them nothing), and, regardless of other considerations, cannot abide a conservative justice, will filibuster this nomination.
Unless there are 8 Democrats willing to cross over and vote to end the filibuster (which there are not – Trump would be lucky to get 1 or 2)…
… the only way Neil Gorsuch has any chance to sit on the Supreme Court is if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invokes “the nuclear option” (as then-Majority Leader Harry Reid did for federal judicial nominees in 2013) by changing the rules so that a simple majority vote would end the Gorsuch filibuster, rather than the current 60-40 requirement.
In short, with Mr. McConnell invoking the nuclear option, Gorsuch is almost certainly in. Without Mr. McConnell invoking the nuclear option, Gorsuch is almost certainly out. And, as an extra added attraction, declining to invoke the nuclear option will make Mitch McConnell a blood enemy of President Trump – which I doubt very much he wants to be.
No prediction here. But if I were betting, it would be on the nuclear option being utilized.