Relations between Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C. have deteriorated to the point that I see little chance of the following suggestion becoming reality. But because hope springs eternal, I offer it anyway. It is hardly novel.
Rather than risk the so-called “nuclear option” in which Mitch McConnell pushes a rule change in the Senate to end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, the D’s and the R’s should cut a deal in which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires and both Merrick Garland and Neil Gorsuch becomes Associate Justices of the Supreme Court. Gorsuch fills Justice Scalia’s seat, Garland fills Justice Ginsburg’s seat, and the balance of power on the Supreme Court remains unchanged–at least for now. And the parties live to fight another day.
As I said, I don’t see this happening. But it would be a reasonable way to avoid further deterioration of relations in the Senate and, possibly, even begin to improve them, all the while maintaining the status quo on the Supreme Court.
Dan Klau is an attorney with McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP; the immediate Past President of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government and is a member of the board of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.