Democrats were annihilated on November 8th. Not only did Donald Trump trounce Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College, producing a county-by-county electoral map that looks like someone bled over it, Republicans widened their control in Congress. At the state level, the GOP also now holds majorities in 33 legislatures, one shy of the two-thirds required to initiate a convention on constitutional amendments, and 31 governorships (compared to 18 for Democrats).
It’s not going to be fun reading the news for (at least) the next four years as a liberal. The only place Republicans don’t have a majority is the Supreme Court, and that will likely change under President Trump. He has to replace Antonin Scalia, and others could retire or pass away. Left-leaning judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 83 years old, while her liberal cohort Stephen Breyer is 78. Scalia passed away at 79.
Now, Democrats are concocting a last-ditch effort to prevent Trump from replacing Scalia. When it comes to their plan, you have to read it to believe it.
Some progressives are now rallying behind a shocking last-minute plan that could allow Democrats to hijack control of the U.S. Senate and confirm Obama’s failed Supreme Court nominee to the bench before Trump takes office. According to this plan, Democrats still have a chance to ignore Trump and the Republicans and vote in Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court just days before Trump’s inauguration. Or, as they put it, “to reclaim the Supreme Court nomination Republicans think they stole from us.”
The idea was first proposed by David Waldman, a left-wing radio host, and goes something like this: On January 3, 2017, Democrats will hold the majority in the Senate for a few minutes, until the newly-elected Senators are sworn in. Biden could convene the Senate in those few minutes and call for a vote. The majority could then suspend the rules and vote in Merrick Garland.
Translation: for a few brief minutes on January 3, 2017, Democrats could theoretically control the Senate. How? One third of U.S. Senate seats were up for re-election this year. Those terms expire at noon on January 3 and the new incoming class will be sworn in minutes later. During that gap, the Senate will only have 67 sitting members – and a majority of those 67 members will happen to be Democrats.
Well, good luck with that. The plan acknowledges that Joe Biden would have to call the chamber to order and recognize Democrats as the majority before renominating Merrick Garland and approving him to the Supreme Court. An unlikely scenario considering how even President Obama has spoken on the need for a smooth transition of power — not to mention, the legality of such a stunt still isn’t clear.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]