The Nuclear Option is Bad for the American Republic; Bad for Libertarians

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With the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court pending this week, there is disagreement in the Senate as to the approval of his nomination.  One of the key features of the Senate is the deliberative nature of the body and the requirement that in order to end debate they need a super majority (60 votes) in order to move on to a vote. With every Supreme Court nomination, there is always a fight on both sides of the isle. The passions run high and the battle takes place in committee and on the floor of the Senate.

However, the Republican majority is floating the prospect of invoking what is called the “Nuclear Option” in order to get Judge Gorsuch confirmed by the end of the week. What would happen in the event that the majority leader can’t reach the requisite number of votes for cloture (60), he will take to the floor of the Senate and change the rules of the deliberative body and allow a simple majority to obtain cloture, in turn allowing Gorsuch to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

There are many factors at play in this situation. While Neil Gorsuch is absolutely qualified for the Supreme Court and should be confirmed by the Senate, it doesn’t allow the Republican Party to do something that will have dramatic effects on the American Republic.

The U.S. Senate is considered around the world as the great deliberative body. It has time and again been the hallmark of history with the rejection of treaties, the rejection of high government officials, and the people who serve in that institution, even though sometimes they irritate people like us, serve for the betterment of American society. There should be a debate, there should be filibusters, that allow Senators to be a clarion voice for the American people and the citizens they represent every day.

The use of the Nuclear Option is bad for the sanctity of the Republic. It allows tyrannical rule by a bare majority. This country was founded upon the principle of fighting back against the tyranny of the majority. That is why we have an electoral college pick our President and not the people directly. Mob rule is not good for a free society and hence the reason that the minority of opinions still has a say in the process. If we ruled this country with the simple majority then Libertarians would all but certain be shut out of the process entirely.

A Republic is founded upon the idea that debate and discussion take place and that the people in the country are represented at all levels. If Mitch McConnel changes the rules of the Senate this week then pandora’s box will be open to the tyrannical rule by simple majorities.

All Libertarians should be against the use of the Nuclear Option. The tyranny of the majority can be the end of the Liberty movement and the end of freedom altogether.


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