Democrats are squirming at the thought of Donald Trump's upcoming opportunity to nominate a justice for the Supreme Court. And while they're thinking about giving the Republicans a taste of their own medicine by obstructing any nominee, it could come with a potentially crippling cost.
The Democrats are still smarting over their counterparts' treatment of President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, who despite being nominated in February has still not gotten a congressional confirmation hearing. But payback in the form of a filibuster of Trump's nominee could cost Democrats the tools they have left as a minority, Politico reports. Currently, the Senate requires a 60-vote minimum to confirm a Supreme Court nominee, a practice that the Republicans have threatened to end if the Democratss don't play ball.
"We're going to confirm the president's nominee one way or the other. And there's an easy way and there's a hard way," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) has said.
It's an open question as to how Democrats will proceed. They'll be under immense pressure from their political base to reject a nominee perceived as anti-abortion and anti-environment. They'll also have to weigh whether playing nice on one nominee may give them more leverage to play hardball later on, when Republicans may be sweating their own political future ahead of the 2020 election [...] Democrats say it's too early to decide how they'll proceed. But they admit they're worried about who Trump will pick and what it will mean for the future of the Senate. [Politico]
Read more about the threat to the filibuster, and what it could mean for Trump's Supreme Court nominees, at Politico.