Suddenly the issue of a GOP filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is back on the table:
The top-ranking Senate Republican refused Sunday to rule out a filibuster against Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told “FOX News Sunday” it was possible that Republicans would try to prevent a vote on Kagan’s nomination when the issue comes before the chamber. The Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on the nomination June 28.
“I have never filibustered a Supreme Court nominee,” McConnell said. “It is possible, but entirely too early to know whether that would be appropriate.”
Previously, other Republican senators had indicated a filibuster against Kagan was unlikely. McConnell, however, would only say it was too soon to determine the possibility.
Actually, it’d make sense now. Barack Obama is now going through a cycle where he is getting panned by pundits, including some who were previously favorable to him, his poll numbers are weak, and his first Oval Office speech went over as about as popular as giving a tip to BP CEO Tony Hayward. Democrats seem increasingly demoralized, while Republicans of almost all stripes seem eager to vote in 2010 — and confident. Taking it to the mat now against Obama would not be surprising, since a loss on Kagan would further decrease Obama’s — and the Democrats’ — clout.
It may not happen — but it’s more likely than it was more than a month ago..
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.