Given this near three-year track record of success, it is clear that one of the most ambitious gambles in our modern legislatures’ history — the refusal of giving Merrick Garland a hearing and subsequent nuking of the judicial filibuster — has paid off big for conservatives. However, the current situation has also put conservatives, and more importantly, the Senate, in a precarious position.
Inevitably Democrats will, at one point or another, control the chamber. In fact, it’s quite possible they could control it in the near future, with a tough 2020 map staring down Todd Young, a Republican from Indiana, and McConnell. Undoubtedly, this would result in any Trump SCOTUS nominee being blocked by a simple majority of Democrats as retaliation for McConnell’s bold gambit on Garland.
Not only that, but when this happens, it’s more than likely the one-upmanship in judicial nomination gambits and subsequent confirmation votes will reach the Harry Reid v. McConnell escalation we saw in the Obama years. In fact, the idea of an executive branch or SCOTUS nominee being confirmed by a Senate controlled by the opposing party may well be dead.