Democratic Strategy to Tie the Senate in Knots Over Barrett
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
Senate Democrats may lack the votes to stop Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, but there may be a few procedural maneuvers they can use to slow the GOP’s confirmation push.
A memo circulating on Capitol Hill among House and Senate progressives urges using whatever tools are available to frustrate the Barrett nomination:
Entitled “Safeguarding the Court,” the document outlines 19 ideas for Senate and House Democrats to consider in an effort to slow down or halt a court nomination.
One set of maneuvers could involve House Democrats using their power to slow down the Senate. For instance, they could have insisted on short-term week-by-week budget bills to grind the process of passing appropriations to a crawl. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had that option, but took it off the table — at least until a lame duck Congress.
However, House lawmakers could also pass other measures — such as articles of impeachment or War Powers resolutions — that would automatically be prioritized on the Senate schedule under existing rules.
In the Senate itself, the memo says Democratic senators should explore filing so-called “fast track” measures that could also take precedent on the Senate schedule and push off a court confirmation vote.
The memo says Democratic delaying tactics could force Republicans to make a choice they would prefer to avoid:
“Engaging in dilatory tactics would likely force Majority Leader McConnell to keep the entire Republican Conference in the vicinity of the Senate, in order to maintain a quorum and to win various votes,” the memo says. “This might become increasingly untenable because up to a dozen sitting Republicans are defending their seats in close races and will want to return home to campaign — including to participate in debates and other events they will be loath to miss.”
The same applies to Democrats running in tough races. Being on site all day, every day could make life very difficult for, say, Sen. Doug Jones (D), who is running for re-election in Alabama.
There’s also the very real possibility that efforts to gum up the works would result in Sen. Mitch McConnell changing the rules to shut down any delays – essentially making the Senate even more like the House.