Stabenow Called Out on Hypocrisy of Filibustering Gorsuch

March 29, 2017

MSNBC's Chuck Todd called out Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) for Senate Democrats' hypocrisy in filibustering Judge Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination.

Stabenow has said she will not vote for Gorsuch's nomination or for cloture, which would allow for a full vote in the Senate. Stabenow also insisted that Gorsuch get at least 60 votes to be confirmed.

Todd said he couldn't understand Stabenow's refusal to allow a vote for cloture. Stabenow pointed to Senate Republicans not considering Judge Merrick Garland's nomination to the bench, leading Todd to ask if that justified the actions of Senate Democrats.

"What I'm saying is, do two wrongs make a right here? Or three wrongs? Or four wrongs? Or five wrongs?" Todd asked.

"It's not about wrong or right," Stabenow said. "Chuck, it's not about wrong or right."

Stabenow said she opposes Gorsuch because he is wrong for the people of Michigan.

Todd mentioned that Senate Republicans may change Senate rules to confirm Gorsuch with 51 votes rather than the typical 60, a change that has been referred to as the "nuclear option."

Democrats have objected angrily to this possible change, but Todd reminded Stabenow that the nuclear option was first used by Senate Democrats in 2013 to confirm President Obama's cabinet nominees with 51 votes.

"When Senate Democrats had that choice to make, we said no," Stabenow said. "There should be a 60 vote threshold so there's a bipartisan vote on the U.S. Supreme Court."

"But only on the Supreme Court," Todd said. "Didn't we go down the road of a slippery slope here when the decision was made by Harry Reid to say, 'you know what, we're tired of the obstruction on the lower courts so we're going to get rid of this filibuster.' It was inevitable that this was going to be the reaction of the other side once they got power, which was the warning many people made to Senator Reid, including your former colleague Senator Carl Levin."

"Chuck, what I would say is that we made the decision, conscious decision, thoughtful, debated in our caucus that it was better for the country to keep the 60-vote threshold on the highest court in the land, lifetime appointment and that's something that Mitch McConnell can decide and his caucus can decide as well," Stabenow said.