Here's a scenario to ponder as we approach the New Year.
At noon on January 3, 2017, the terms of the Senate's Class III members will end and the Senate will then consist of 66 senators — 34 of whom are Democrats, 30 are Republicans and two are independent. At that point, the Senate will be controlled by Vice President Joe Biden in his role as Senate president.
If VP Biden then recognizes Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who at that moment would be the majority leader of the Senate, and Sen. Durbin chooses to finish the Senate's business as it pertains to President Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, then Garland could become the ninth member of that court and give it a moderate majority.
Looking back over the past eight years since Barack Obama became President, those years have been marked by blatant Republican announcements beginning with Sen. McConnell's taunt that Obama would be "a one-term President," followed by promises that few if any of his programs would be adopted by the Congress. And the Congress has followed that course. President Obama's "jobs bill," for example, has languished in Congress for years without passage, despite former House Speaker Boehner's persistent question, "Where's the jobs?"
Judge Garland has waited for more than 260 days without any resolution to his nomination to the Supreme Court simply because the Republican-controlled Senate has refused to act on it. Maybe that wait will come to an end in January and he will assume his rightful place on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Beau Weisman, Editor