McCloud Bros.

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Afghanistan War Episode 3: No End in Sight

With the 16th anniversary of the beginning of the Afghanistan War fast approaching, President Trump has announced that he has approved a new strategy in Afghanistan, which will require sending an additional 4,000 troops to the area. Having denounced the war while running for president last year, Trump has now decided to make America’s longest war his own with this new plan.

The 13 Most Popular Constitutional Amendments of 2017 (Among Members of Congress)

While completing my list of joint resolutions under the Congressional Review Act, I ran across about 50 joint resolutions introduced in the 115th Congress that propose to amend the U.S. Constitution. I decided to sort through them to find the 10 most popular proposals. I calculated popularity by figuring the percentage of the House of Representatives' or Senate's membership that cosponsored each joint resolution. Because of ties, I ended up with 13 resolutions instead of just 10. You can keep the change and find brief summaries of each below.

How the Confirmation Vote for Neil Gorsuch Strengthens the Biden Rule

On February 13, 2016, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep. Within hours of the news being released, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the choice of Scalia's successor should be left to the next president. Accordingly, the Senate refused to so much as hold a hearing on President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland. Senate Republicans quickly began calling their position the Biden Rule, after a speech that then-Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) made on the Senate floor in 1992. Republicans' treatment of Garland, as well as Democrats' treatment of Scalia's ultimate successor, Neil Gorsuch, lend support to the case made by Biden that Supreme Court nominations should not be considered during a presidential election year.

Live Blog: The Gorsuch Cloture Vote in the Senate (Ended)

Starting at 9:00 AM (Central) on April 6, 2017, Jeffrey and I live blogged the Gorsuch cloture vote in the Senate. As we expected, Senate Republicans used a technique commonly referred to as the nuclear option to break a Democratic filibuster. For background, here are three posts that Jeffrey and I wrote on this subject:

The Nuclear Option: How Senate Republicans May Follow Democrats’ Lead to Confirm Neil Gorsuch

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held confirmation hearings for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. At the conclusion of the hearings, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced that he would support a filibuster against the Supreme Court nominee. This raised the question whether Republicans would use the so-called nuclear option to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations to confirm Gorsuch. If so, they would be following in the footsteps of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who in 2013 used the nuclear option to eliminate the filibuster for all nominations other than to the Supreme Court.