in Real Clear Policy: “How Judicial Confirmations Got So Contentious”

7 Apr , 2017  

Dr. John Lott has another piece at Real Clear Policy on Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Why are Democrats filibustering Judge Gorsuch, a Supreme Court nominee who has received accolades from even some of the most partisan, liberal lawyers? But that’s the wrong question. A clash was inevitable — if not over this Supreme Court nominee, then surely over the next. Democrats are about to launch the first partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee, forcing Republicans to end to Senate rules that have helped foster centuries of bipartisanship. The right question is what caused this increased partisan rancor over Supreme Court nominations in the first place.

First of all, there is a lot at stake when it comes to the Supreme Court — perhaps more than ever before. The Supreme Court considers more and more questions of significance to our daily lives, from work-place discrimination and religious freedom to environmental regulations and marriage. When more is at stake, people fight harder to win.

That general rule explains a lot. Two baseball teams playing in the seventh game of the World Series are probably going to play a lot harder than two teams competing in August with no chance of making the playoffs. In the same way, as the size and scope of the federal government increases, interest groups will spend more on elections in an effort to influence the levers of government. . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.

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