It might seem perverse to say so, but pro-lifers should welcome a Democratic filibuster of Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Here’s why:
- The Democrats are wounded.
- What’s left of the squishy GOP establishment is still in shock at Trump’s historic win.
- The media are chasing a dozen different imaginary scandals as Steve Bannon’s apparent strategy of “flooding the zone” with bold initiatives seems to be working.
- Every time President Trump lights a candle in the White House, the Left is throwing a tantrum and shouting “Reichstag fire!”
- We have a nominee who is manifestly qualified, to fill the seat of a deceased, highly respected conservative.
- A filibuster now would be so obviously partisan and absurd that it would be easy to justify trashing the filibuster forever.
- And that is what we need to do, if we are serious about overturning Roe v. Wade, and removing the Supreme Court as a weapon of leftist rule by decree on every crucial social and Constitutional issue.
The Real Fight is the Next Supreme Court Opening
We conservatives are in a strong position now. In a year or two, when Ruth Bader Ginsburg or another justice finally retires, the balance of power will be different. And the stakes will be infinitely higher. The next SCOTUS nominee won’t just serve to restore the Court’s balance to what it was when it issued the outrageous pile of sophistries that was Obergefell v. Hodges. The next vote could tip it.
So next time, the Left will fight a justice like Gorsuch with the fury of a thousand suns, as the war chests of Planned Parenthood are flooded with money from George Soros and other pro-abortion philanthropists, from Warren Buffet to Bill Gates and beyond. Expect the United Nations and the European Union to issue statements. Because if abortion extremism — in all 50 states, for nine months of pregnancy, for any reason — falls in the United States, it’s in deep trouble all across the world. Expect every demon in Hell to weigh in with his opinion.
If the filibuster still exists when we have to fight that battle, count on a few squishy GOP senators (who don’t really want to overturn Roe v. Wade anyway, in their heart of hearts) to “reluctantly” side with the Democrats. And we’ll end up with some Republican version of Merrick Garland, or worse.
The Supreme Court is the Death Star of the Left
Unless President Trump betrays us, the next judge he chooses, if confirmed, will shift the balance on the Court, giving constitutionalists the votes to strike down a long series of badly decided, lawless precedents that have stymied us for decades, and left liberals free to keep “pushing the envelope” on one outrageous innovation after another. Essentially, up till now, when the left couldn’t win at the ballot box (as it couldn’t win in most states on same-sex “marriage”), it would call in the courts like a napalm strike on a Vietnamese village. Then we would be left helpless, and the left could get busy in its next assault on normalcy, private property, Western culture, or the family. Rinse and repeat.
You need to have been alive in 1980 to fully realize what a sick, miserable game of bait-and-switch we pro-lifers have been subjected to. That’s the year our triumphant, pro-life president — the first president to take such a stand, in the teeth of a pro-choice-led GOP — threw away his first SCOTUS nomination on the unknown quantity that was Sandra Day O’Connor, to keep a pointless campaign promise that some (doubtless pro-choice) consultant convinced him to make, to appoint a woman. Having swept the Senate that year, Reagan could have picked a really worthwhile woman of course — such as Phyllis Schlafly, a brilliant attorney who had just saved the Constitution from the indignity of the Equal Rights Amendment.
But no, we got a squish-center “moderate” Republican instead, and by the time the next opening came, we had lost the Senate — giving the Democrats the chance to rip off the veil of civility and smear Robert Bork. When pro-abortion Republicans-in-name-only such as Arlen Specter sided with the Democrats, Reagan lost that battle and was talked into appointing … Anthony Kennedy!
Yes, the man who would go on to write the infamous “Humpty-Dumpty” opinion on Casey v. Planned Parenthood, which said that it’s essential to American Constitutional freedom that we be able to pull our definitions of morality, meaning, life and the universe out of any bodily orifice. To appreciate how outrageous a betrayal that appointment turned out to be, imagine how Democrats would have reacted if one of Bill Clinton’s or Obama’s appointees issued a majority opinion against abortion, citing Thomas Aquinas on Natural Law.
The Supreme Court acts as a perpetual, unelected Constitutional Convention — rewriting our jurisprudence as five lawyers see fit, and imposing them on the voters by decree.
Stop Nominating Useless Bench Warmers
The threat of the Democrats’ “Borking” a genuinely pro-life, Constitutional conservative nominee via filibuster — a non-Constitutional, purely procedural trick whereby a judge required 60 votes for confirmation instead of 51 — was enough, on those occasions and in the case of David Souter, to drive Republican presidents to waste the crucial choice of a Supreme Court nominee on someone entirely useless.
Oh, they may have issued a few opinions on antitrust law or … something that weren’t as bad as a Democrat’s pick would have been. But on the crucial issues on which our culture and law really turn, they let themselves be guided by the left-wing superstition of a “living Constitution.” What that actually boils down to is simply this: The Supreme Court will serve not to interpret what the words of the Constitution really mean, but instead will act as a perpetual, unelected and unaccountable Constitutional Convention — rewriting the core principles of our jurisprudence as five lawyers see fit, and imposing them on the voters by decree. Any SCOTUS appointee who won’t unmask that power grab, which vitiates democracy, is useless. We might as well nominate a mannequin.
Play to Win or Stop Pretending You’re Pro-Life
Meanwhile, right up till 2016, the Republicans in the Senate have been a supine, timid, sniveling pack of sycophants who would have confirmed a ham sandwich if President Obama had nominated it. Hence they exerted exactly zero moderating influence on the Democrats’ choices of justices. So the fight over the direction of the Supreme Court, and hence of the effective meaning of the U.S. Constitution, has been as rigged up till now as a Harlem Globetrotters game — where our team turned out and went through the motions, obeying a strict set of rules that the other side boldly ignored, since they were playing to win.
It’s time we did the same. And with Trump we have the chance, at last. Any “pro-life” senator who claims that the judicial filibuster is some hallowed legislative tradition essential to preserving the rights of the minority and defending our democratic system against extremism — fill in more high-school civics class boilerplate blather here — is in fact telling you something quite different. He is revealing that he’s not serious, that he doesn’t really want to stop five unelected liberals appointed for life from making all our important laws. He isn’t a pro-lifer or a conservative. He just plays one on TV — in campaign commercials every six years or so.
This article has been updated, to remove a reference to Ed Whelan.