by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
By insisting on going through the cloture process for nearly every nominee, Democrats have slowed confirmations to a glacial pace. Their plan is to slow the confirmation of qualified Republican nominees so that they can preserve liberal dominance of the courts.
They are less interested in seating fair-minded judges than they are in confirming what Gorsuch called “politicians in robes” — liberal politicians, of course. They fear Trump’s nominees because they know that they would be impartial judges who would protect constitutional rights, including free speech, religious liberty, and the right to bear arms.
For the sake of our courts, as well as the credibility of the Senate, this blatant obstruction of qualified nominees must be stopped. Fortunately, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., has offered a solution: The Lankford Proposal would amend the body’s rules to shorten the length of post-cloture debate. The proposal would still grant 30 hours of debate post-cloture for Cabinet-level positions, Supreme Court justices, and Court of Appeals judges, but would cap post-cloture debate for all other nominees at eight hours, and district court nominees, who would be capped at just two hours. These same limitations were adopted as a temporary measure in 2013 by a majority of senators in both parties. The Senate should immediately adopt this proposal to stop those who seek to waste the American people’s valuable time and put qualified judges on the bench.