Democrats are desperate to get another leftist on the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court. Their razor-thin majority in Congress may complicate that, however.
Leftist law expert Laurence Tribe warned that Vice President Kamala Harris might not be able to cast the tie-breaker vote in the Senate when it comes to confirming a judicial nominee, the Washington Examiner reported. President Joe Biden will get his pick for the high court with the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer at the end of this term.
With a 50-50 Republican to Democrat split, Harris has cast the tiebreaking vote on 15 pieces of legislation to date. However, there may be a hiccup with the rules when it comes to confirming a Supreme Court nominee.
Tribe, Harvard Law School professor emeritus, had written an op-ed in 2020 arguing that the vice president, acting as president of the Senate, may be precluded from voting. His assertion was made during the term of them-Vice President Mike Pence.
“I wrote that piece around 15 months ago and have not thought about the issue since,” Tribe said. “I doubt that I would reach a new conclusion upon reexamining the matter even though, given the current political circumstances, I obviously wish the situation were otherwise.”
Tribe argued that the way the Constitution outlined the Senate’s “Advice and Consent” responsibilities doesn’t make it clear whether the vice president has the power to break the tie. He said in his piece that there has been no precedent as “no vice president in our history [who] has ever cast a tiebreaking vote to confirm an appointment to the Supreme Court.”
However, South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman called Tribe’s contention a “nonissue” in a statement to the news outlet. “I think the vice president can break the vote, there’s nothing stopping from doing so,” he said, adding “either the vice president does it or not.”
While the legal implications will have to be hashed out, Democrats better hurry to get their next pick confirmed. It looks as if the 2022 midterms are going to be a bloodbath for the Democratic Party — and they won’t be able to get any of their agenda passed with a GOP-led Congress.