Despite Judge Jackson’s fawning press coverage, unfazed Republican senators grilled her on her record almost immediately.
Already it seems likely that virtually all Republicans will oppose her nomination. At this early stage, it remains unknown how successful GOP criticisms of Jackson’s legal record will be at making her unpalatable to the few so-called moderate senators.
However, an obscure procedural rule exists that the Republican caucus could use to bring Jackson’s confirmation to a grinding halt.
Democrats used it before during Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation. However, with Republicans in firm control of the United States Senate, the effort amounted to nothing more than virtue signaling to progressive activists.
But In an evenly divided Senate, the parties would be at an impasse.
The question for Republicans becomes whether taking this step is worth the potential backlash during an election year, especially since the Court’s conservative majority isn’t at risk — for the time being.
Hot Air’s Karen Townsend explains:
Yesterday I wrote a post about KBJ’s refusal to answer a question posed to her during her meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He asked if she would be in favor of court-packing. Does she support increasing the number of justices on the court as many progressive activists do? It’s a legit question because KBJ’s nomination is supported by far-left groups like Justice Democrats that do support court-packing as a way to push through their political agenda. She didn’t answer the question. McConnell told Face the Nation‘s host Margaret Brennan that he will wait to hear her answers to questions posed by the senators on the Judiciary Committee before he makes his decision as to whether he’ll vote for her nomination or not.
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that KBJ doesn’t need any Republican votes to be confirmed during the vote in the Senate once she is voted out of the committee. I was focused on the full Senate vote, not the committee vote, as I fully expect her to be voted out of committee. But, what if she isn’t? What if Republican senators use Senate Rule 26? It has been suggested that a way for Republicans to hold up her nomination is to use Senate Rule 26, which is a procedural option. The rare opportunity of a 50/50 split Senate and the nuclear option of using a simple majority to pass the nomination that is in force creates the possibility of using Senate Rule 26. Technically, Senate Republicans can stop the move to a vote by the full senate by denying a quorum in the Senate Judiciary Committee. At least one Republican in the Judiciary Committee has to be physically present in order to provide a quorum. If no Republicans show up for the vote in committee, her nomination cannot advance.
It’s an idea that has been floating around. Conservatives who oppose her nomination like to chew on the possibility but it’s very unlikely that Republicans would deny a quorum in committee. I first saw the option explained back in January. Rachel Bovard published an article in The Federalist that serves as a good explainer.
Should Judiciary Committee Republicans decline to show up to vote on KBJ nomination, Senate Democrats would not meet the requirements needed for her confirmation to pass the committee per Rule 26.
Suspending Rule 26 would be a long shot, with two-thirds of Senators having to vote in the affirmative.
Regardless, Townsend isn’t holding her breath:
It’s an interesting “what if” to think about but we all know it isn’t going to happen. Republicans don’t play that way. Would Lindsey Graham organize his fellow GOP committee members to boycott the committee meeting when it’s time for the vote? I wouldn’t put money on that bet. He sounds as though he’s perhaps a yes on her nomination. One committee member has been vocal about his concerns about KBJ’s past rulings, especially in child porn cases, and that’s Josh Hawley. He might use Rule 26 as a Hail Mary move but I doubt the others would follow him in that.
So, what do you think? Should Republicans invoke Rule 26 or do the cons outweigh the pros in this case? As always, tell us below!
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.