Sen. Sasse: Actually, McConnell Isn't the Guy Responsible for Tonight's Vote on Judge Barrett

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Posted: Oct 26, 2020 2:50 PM
Sen. Sasse: Actually, McConnell Isn't the Guy Responsible for Tonight's Vote on Judge Barrett

Source: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of course, deserves some credit for Monday night's historic vote to confirm Seventh Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said he doesn't deserve all of it.

The real MVP of the last three successful Supreme Court nominations, Sasse explained on the Senate floor on Monday, is a Democrat.

"I don’t want to cross Cocaine Mitch, the gentleman from Kentucky, but the truth of the matter is the senator most responsible for the confirmation proceedings we have happening on the floor today is not from Kentucky," Sasse said. "The senator most responsible for the fact that Amy Coney Barrett’s gonna be confirmed tonight, the senator most responsible for the confirmations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, is the former Democratic leader from Nevada, Senator Harry Reid. It was Senator Harry Reid that blew up the filibuster for judicial appointments in November of 2013, and the rest of how we got here is just a footnote on that history."

In 2013, Reid, then-Senate Majority Leader, used the nuclear option to eliminate the 60-vote rule to appoint three liberal judges to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"You’ll regret this,” McConnell warned at the time. "And you may regret this a lot sooner than you think."

How right he was. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the final filibuster scorecard is pretty one-sided: "Democrats jammed through three appellate judges but paved the way for the GOP to confirm three Supreme Court Justices. Thanks, Harry."

On Monday McConnell remarked on how his prediction came true. It was Reid who set the precedent for today's proceedings.

"Colleagues did not appreciate being held to the standards they just created a few years before," the Senate leader said. "The shoe was on the other foot. Well, we all know what happened next. Another massive Senate-shaking escalation by Senate Democrats in 2013: the nuclear option. They broke the Senate rules to change the Senate rules so that a Democratic president would not have to play by the same rules they had invented shortly before."

With only one Republican senator expected to vote "no" on Barrett's confirmation tonight, we should be getting a brand new Supreme Court Justice around 8 p.m. ET.

Thanks, Harry!