There’s an article going around to the effect that the Democrats are thinking they might not filibuster the first Trump Supreme Court pick, and wait for the second. There are various reactions to this, mostly appalled.
I don’t think it matters. It’s already too late; nothing the Democrats can do is going to make any difference. The Republicans are going to gerrymander the Court for the next generation.
The problem the Democrats have is that if they filibuster the Supreme Court nominee, the Republicans might well enact the “nuclear option” and abolish the filibuster for Court nominees altogether. So the Dems are thinking they might keep their powder dry for the re-aligning pick, not for Scalia’s replacement.
Whatever. There’s no “might” about it. As soon as the Democrats filibuster any Court nominee, the Republicans will definitely go “nuclear”, because they have nothing to lose by doing so.
During this Administration, the Republicans can expect to get two picks, maybe three. Each of them will be an absolutely crazy rock-ribbed fascist robot, and a very young one. (They’ve learned from Souter and from Roberts, whom I still view as a vile right-winger but some in the Grand Old Party of John Birch already see as a betrayer.) The next four years will probably leave behind a 6-3 or 7-2 right-wing court, with all the worst features of the Waite, Fuller, White, and Taft Courts, that will stay that way at least until the year 2050.
And if they can’t prevent Laurence Tribe III from becoming Chief Justice in 2053, who cares? That’s way outside their time-horizon, and it may be outside ours, too. Who knows what will be left by then?
The war for the Court was comprehensively lost last November. The really, really essential thing was that we not elect Trump (or any Republican) to the Oval Office. We did. Now we lose.
If you’re over thirty, you’ve probably already seen the last significant Supreme Court victories you’ll ever see for the rest of your life. From now on it’s only defeats.