Why Fear Grassley’s Threat?

As we reported earlier, Sen. Chuck Grassley was on the Senate floor shortly after the rules change today promising that when Republicans are in the Senate majority, they will change the filibuster rules for Supreme Court nominees.

TPM Reader LF wonders how that’s any threat at all:

Grassley’s promise to apply the nuclear option to Supreme Court nominees–and threats of that ilk before, and that some Democrats took it seriously–has always been the most laughable part of this nuclear option facade.

In the last 45 years, Republicans have appointed 10 Associate Justices and 3 Chief Justices, and Democrats have staged exactly zero successful filibusters on any of the nominees … Samuel Alito did not clear the 60 vote threshold when he was confirmed. Even Clarence Thomas — probably the least qualified person to ever sit on the Court — was confirmed by a 52-48 vote, without a Democratic filibuster. …

So to Republicans who promise that Democrats will rue the day, because they will apply this rule to Supreme Court nominees, go ahead! If the day comes when there is a Republican President and a Republican Senate (which is bad enough already), they would get their nominee anyway, just as they always have. Why Democrats would ever be afraid of this is beyond me.

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