Dems filibuster for justice

by Brent Budowsky

With liberal democracy under attack in America and Europe from a Russian dictator and rightist extremists, American justice is under attack by a Republican president who opposes human rights and Senate Republicans who seek to steal a Supreme Court seat.

There is already movement among Senate Democrats, which I strongly support, to wage an all-out filibuster against the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, to fill the seat I call the Garland seat because it should have been filled by the widely acclaimed Judge Merrick Garland, whom former President Obama nominated in 2016.

Like Garland, Gorsuch is well credentialed for the Supreme Court. Unlike Garland, who was widely praised by prominent GOP senators before they made a mockery of the historic role of the Senate by refusing to consider his nomination, confirming Gorsuch would ratify a successful GOP attempt to steal a Supreme Court seat that would distort American justice for a generation because of unsavory tactics that led to his appointment and the profound legal impact of his confirmation.

It is astounding and revealing that Americans have returned George Orwell’s timeless book “1984,” which warned of dangers to freedom, to best-seller lists in 2017.

For Senate Republicans to refuse to even consider the nomination of Garland was nothing less than a constitutional coup d’etat against justice in America that abused Senate rules to pack the court with conservative justices.

Had the GOP-controlled Senate in 2016 acted as the founders intended, Garland would have definitely been considered and almost certainly confirmed. The fact that Obama submitted to unethical GOP tactics without a fight does not change the fact that American justice fell victim to this constitutional coup d’etat against justice employing tactics that would have outraged our Founding Fathers.

Today certain commentators suggest that Senate Democrats should, or will, mount only a faux filibuster that they will begin loudly and quickly surrender. They are definitely wrong about what Senate Democrats should do and probably wrong about what they will do. Democrats have learned hard lessons the hard way about what happens to a political party that capitulates too easily, too often.

Having worked for Democratic leaders and dealt with many red-state Democrats, some running in red-state races in 2018 should and will be given a pass by leaders and voters, which would still leave Democrats above 40 votes.

Trump systematically opposes human rights in virtually every form, foreign and domestic. From civil rights to gay rights, voting rights at home to human rights abroad, immigrant rights to women’s rights, from his stated admiration for certain dictators to his contempt for and attacks against anyone who disagrees with him, Trump is aggressively hostile to human rights in countless forms.

Trump is within reach of systematically destroying the checks and balances the Founders created to protect us from authoritarian personalities like him.

Americans endure an FBI director whose probity is doubted by half the nation after he egregiously interfered in the last presidential election, which helped elect the president to whom he now owes his job, while the bureau he leads purportedly investigates matters that may involve the president.

America may soon have an attorney general who is a partisan supporter of the president who does not take no for an answer, did not even consult the acting attorney general before issuing an incompetently devised executive order on immigration, and then fired her.

With the FBI director and probably the next attorney general so deeply distrusted by so many Americans, Democrats should wage an all-out filibuster for justice against the Gorsuch nomination to fiercely defend the final check and balance.

Brent Budowsky View more

Brent Budowsky
Brent Budowsky served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served as Legislative Director to Congressman Bill Alexander, then Chief Deputy Whip, House of Representatives. Currently a member of the International Advisory Council of the Intelligence Summit. Left government in 1990 for marketing and public affairs business including major corporate entertainment and talent management.

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