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As ye sow…

April 6, 2017

In the mid-1960’s a group known as the Byrds made a Pete Seeger-penned song an international anthem of sorts during the height of the anti-war period.

That main lyrics of that song, variously promoted by various folk music groups as “To Everything There is a Season,” and “Turn, Turn, Turn” were a verbatim recording of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, set to music. It is available still on iTunes.

Democrats are now reaping the harvest of the seeds sown by Harry Reid to eliminate the filibustering of judicial nominees as an opposition party tactic back in November of 2013.

While John McCain, Lindsay Graham and other fans of legislative purity wring their hands and bemoan the effect on the patrician nature of the Senate, and Democrats call for fire and brimstone to rain down on Republicans, that little bit of history bears remembering.

Of course what it means today is that former appellate court judge Neil Gorsuch is within hours of becoming the ninth sitting Supreme Court Justice.

For many people who ultimately held their noses and voted for Donald Trump, that has the sweet taste of vindication.

Yes, at some point, unless the filibuster (which is not part of the Constitution) is voted out of existence the nuclear option will be used against Republicans again and might even be invoked on legislative questions.

But that is the future and we are living in the now.

It’s a classic example of the truism that actions (and elections) have consequences.

Does soon-to-be Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation have another unintended consequence, namely that laws might be more carefully crafted and adopted in the future?

Probably only if he is joined by other justices who will rule on laws as they are written and not from an ideological mountaintop.

Speculation has it that at least one and possibly two more positions could open up on the SCOTUS bench, and there are 20 or so names still on President Trump’s list of candidates.

Liberals have pretty much been able to craft legislative positions with some certainty that if they are disputed, the Supreme Court will ultimately rule in favor of the liberal position.

Conservatives are no doubt hoping that now the pendulum will swing back to the right.

It would certainly be a shock to all of them if neither side has gained a political advantage by returning the Court to its constitutional roots as an impartial, independent arbitrator of justice.

From → op-ed

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