In a move that surprised absolutely no one, Senate Republicans took the Nuclear Option earlier this month to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the US Supreme Court. A lot of ink has been spilled since then about the ramifications of this move, but today I wanted to briefly talk about a possible compromise deal that I heard about that could have avoided the Senate going nuclear. From what I understand, small bipartisan group of senators was trying to hash out a deal whereby Gorsuch would get confirmed, but at the same time one of the older liberal justices on the Supreme Court would resign, and Merrick Garland would take his/her place. You might Remember Merrick Garland as the Supreme Court nominee that Obama put forward after Antonin Scalia died but never got any hearings due to Republicans gambling that a Republican would win the next presidency and substitute a more conservative nominee in Merrick Garland’s place. This compromise deal to get both Gorsuch and Garland on the Supreme Court obviously didn’t pan out, but had it come to fruition it could have been a very special moment in our current political climate, with Republicans and Democrats coming together for a deal that would give both parties some of what they wanted and avoiding the Nuclear Option. Seeing Republican and Democratic leaders shaking hands on such a deal could have been a publicity coup and finally given Americans a reason to believe that their leaders were actually capable of working with each other. Instead, however, we got confirmation that things really are as bad as we thought.

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