What others say: Ending filibuster risks further system corrosion

  • By Denver Post editorial
  • Thursday, April 6, 2017 12:56pm
  • Opinion

Even before fortune smiled on Neil Gorsuch, when he remained but a possible pick to the Supreme Court and not the nominee, we argued for his candidacy. No doubt, the fact that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge is a native Coloradan — and a double black diamond skier, to boot — has played an outsized role in our support. The highest court in the land could use a Coloradan.

Such well-meaning provincialism aside, we have sincerely argued for his many other fine qualities that have more to do with the job he would be assuming. Gorsuch is a fine legal mind of sound and agreeable temperament with a mainstream appellate record. Trump could’ve done a lot worse. A raft of legal professionals in our state from both sides of the political spectrum have come out convincingly in singing his praises. While we don’t agree with all of his opinions, we’re willing to look past that and would trust him with the car keys.

All that said, we would be willing to lose this incredible opportunity if it meant stopping the significant and dangerous rule change in the Senate that Republicans are threatening. Forever ending the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees would launch the chamber on a journey destined to stoke partisanship and gridlock in Congress that reasonable people are and should be sick to death of.

Sure, the longtime Senate filibuster rule isn’t in the Constitution. Neither is any requirement as to the number of judges on the court. But the filibuster has kept the Senate a more deliberative body. Ending it now risks further erosion of our system of checks and balances.

Senate Democrats ought to stop their foolish revenge plot now. They and their allies have made it resoundingly clear that there is no Trump nominee the party would support. We doubt Gandhi would be good enough. While their overzealous resistance speaks volumes about the president’s abilities in coalition-building, it also will leave Democrats with little ground to stand on for future claims of bipartisanship and statesmanship.

This week we have supported Colorado’s senior senator, Michael Bennet, for opposing the ill-conceived filibuster his party has nevertheless officially embraced. Yes, critics argue Bennet is late to the big show, and call his tardy commitment to statesmanship evidence of spinelessness. We agree he should have been active on the question sooner, but resist the idea his stance this week is merely political cover. If you don’t buy that, remember to tell the campaign aides the senator hires to ward off the Bernie Sanders wannabes who line up to primary him six years hence.

Republicans, meanwhile, ought to do right by Senate tradition and the nation and step away from their rule change.

Democrats were wrong in 2013 when they ended the filibuster for lesser judicial nominees. Republicans were wrong to block President Barack Obama’s pick of Merrick Garland even from consideration all last year.

Both sides are getting awfully lame with their extremism.

Better to have an eight-member high court until cooler heads prevail.

— The Denver Post,

April 4

More in Opinion

Promise garden flowers are assembled for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Let’s keep momentum in the fight against Alzheimer’s

It’s time to reauthorize these bills to keep up our momentum in the fight to end Alzheimer’s and all other types of Dementia.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., questions Navy Adm. Lisa Franchetti during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 14 on Capitol Hill.
Opinion: Music to the ears of America’s adversaries

Russia and China have interest in seeing America’s democracy and standing in the world weakened

Dr. Sarah Spencer. (Photo by Maureen Todd and courtesy of Dr. Sarah Spencer)
Opinion: Alaskans needs better access to addiction treatment. Telehealth can help.

I have witnessed firsthand the struggles patients face in accessing addiction care

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski speaks on a range of subjects during an interview with the Juneau Empire in May 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Need for accounting and legislative oversight of the permanent fund

There is a growing threat to the permanent fund, and it is coming from the trustees themselves

(Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Imagine the cost of health and happiness if set by prescription drug companies

If you didn’t have heartburn before seeing the price, you will soon — and that requires another prescription

Mike Arnold testifies in opposition to the use of calcium chloride by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities on Kenai Peninsula roads during a Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Votes: Civic actions that carried weight

Watching an impressive display of testimony, going to an event, or one post, can help so many people learn about something they were not even aware of

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Helicopter fishing a detriment to fish and fishers

Proposal would prohibit helicopter transport for anglers on southern peninsula

The cover of the October 2023 edition of Alaska Economic Trends magazine, a product of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. (Image via department website)
Dunleavy administration’s muzzling of teacher pay report is troubling

Alaska Economic Trends is recognized both in Alaska and nationally as an essential tool for understanding Alaska’s unique economy

Image via weseeyou.community
5 tips for creating a culture of caring in our high schools

Our message: No matter what challenges you’re facing, we see you. We support you. And we’re here for you.

The Alaska State Capitol is photographed in Juneau, Alaska. (Clarise Larson/Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Vance’s bill misguided approach to Middle East crisis

In arguing for her legislation, Vance offers a simplistic, one-dimensional understanding of the conflict

A rainbow appears over downtown as residents check out rows of electric vehicles at Juneau’s EV & E-bike Roundup on Sept. 23. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: We should all pay more for the privilege of driving

Alaska has the lowest gas tax in the country

Opinion: Sports saves

ASAA has decided to take a vulnerable subgroup of these youth and reinforce that they are different and unwelcome