Senate Going 'Nuclear' Was Inevitable

Article ID: 672661

Released: 7-Apr-2017 2:05 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: Northwestern University

Expert Pitch

John O. McGinnis

John O. McGinnis is the George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. His areas of expertise include constitutional law, international law, law and economics and antitrust law. He can be reached at 312-590-7869 or j-mcginnis@law.northwestern.edu.

Quote from Professor McGinnis

“The death of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees reflects the reality that Democrats and Republicans fundamentally do not agree on the nature of constitutional law and cannot reach consensus on nominees.”

Eugene Kontorovich

Eugene Kontorovich is a professor of law at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. He specializes in constitutional law, federal courts and public international law. He may be reached at mobile 917-214-3353 or e-kontorovich@law.northwestern.edu.

Quote from Professor Kontorovich

“The Democrats first went nuclear several years ago -- this was just a secondary explosion. The ever-growing levels of partisanship in the U.S. make consensual, trust- based norms like the filibuster unsustainable. If the Republicans did not abolish it now, Democrats would have finished the job they started when they next got the majority.

“What the increased rancor in Supreme Court confirmation picks is really about is the ever-growing power of the Supreme Court to invent constitutional provisions out of whole cloth and override the legislative judgments of elected representatives. Given this vast power, it is not surprising that the stakes involved in each new nomination seem ever greater and compromise harder each time.”

 


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