Blumenthal, Who Voted for Nuclear Option in 2013, Calls on GOP Not to Go Nuclear: ‘Fighting for Rule of Law’

Posted: Apr 06, 2017 1:45 PM

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) slammed Republicans Thursday for their plans to invoke the “nuclear option” and change Senate rules to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch by a simple majority rather than a supermajority of 60 votes. Senate Democrats, including Senator Blumenthal, used this option in November 2013 to confirm Obama appointees to the D.C. Court of Appeals.

“You are fighting for basic American values,” Blumenthal told those gathered at the briefing opposing the appointment of Gorsuch. “You’re fighting for the rule of law and to anybody who tells you well, you know it looks like you’re going to lose, you look them right back and you say if Trump wins it will only be because he wrecked the rules, he changed the rules so he could win and he, aided and abetted by the Republican leaders, they didn’t win playing by the rules they had to change the rules.”

Senator Blumenthal had a very different perspective on this issue back in 2013 when he voted to use the nuclear option and told The Daily Beast he "felt confident that if Democrats were in the minority, ‘We can block an antithetical or abhorrent nominee based on the merits of the nominee without needing to resort to obstruction.’”

Blumenthal explained earlier this week that this vote is “different” than what the Democrats did in 2013.

"There is no equivalence between the Supreme Court and any other office in the United States government," Blumenthal said. "The Supreme Court is for life, highest court in the land, it is different. And to eliminate the 60-vote threshold will be a disaster not only for the United States Senate, but for the court itself because it will drag it into the muck and mire of partisanship that has been so repugnant to the majority of American people."

Blumenthal wrapped up his remarks saying he was “here to say principle and conviction and conscience count for something, we may lose today but we win in adhering to the basic core principle and conscience.”

What basic core principles and conscience might Blumenthal be referring to?

“We are going to continue fighting for a woman’s right to determine her reproductive decisions,” he elaborated, “we’re going to continue fighting for same sex couples and their right to marry the person they love.”