McConnell is about to change the rules to ram through extremist judges


Mitch McConnell is once again set to break norms and change the rules to allow the GOP-controlled Senate to speed through Trump's judicial picks.

So much for being an "institutionalist."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is set to put a hypocritical rules change on the Senate floor when Congress returns next week, the Hill reports. The change would limit the amount of debate allowed on Trump's judicial and executive branch nominees — speeding up the pace at which the GOP-controlled Senate can ram through Trump's extremist picks.

Currently, Senate rules say each nominee gets 30 hours of debate. But McConnell and the GOP want to lower that number to just two hours, which would let Republicans speed through confirmation on judges who receive lifetime appointments.

McConnell once loudly criticized Democrats for changing the rules on judicial confirmations under former President Barack Obama. Democrats, however, were forced to make the rule change because Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, obstructed a massive amount of Obama's judicial picks.

For now, Republicans are debating whether to require 60 votes on the rules change — which would necessitate Democratic votes and allow Democrats to block the change.

Yet it seems like McConnell is prepared to make the change with just a simple majority of 51 votes, which Senate Republicans say they have the votes to achieve.

"We're still hoping to have bipartisan support to go forward with the standing order, which would require 60 votes. In the absence of that, it is still my desire to try to achieve that, and that's ... a discussion will have among Republicans," McConnell told reporters earlier this month, according to the Hill newspaper.

Trump has confirmed a large number of judges with the GOP Senate since taking office, a number of whom have extremist views on everything from racial- and gender-based discrimination, same-sex marriage, and abortion rights. A number have even been deemed "not qualified" by the American Bar Association.

And now that McConnell is likely to once again blow up the Senate institution to limit the amount of debate on Trump's nominations, that number could grow.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.