NPR

As Supreme Court Nears Solid Conservative Majority, GOP Reaps Reward From 'Long Game'

Democrats are playing a weak hand in the battle over Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court. Unlike Republicans, Democrats have not played the long game when it comes to focusing on the judiciary.
President Trump announces US Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018. Source: Saul Loeb

Democrats are playing a very weak hand in the battle over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. They're locked out of power in Washington, D.C, and can't block the nomination thanks to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision in 2017 to end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations.

But Democrats' judicial problems started long before they lost the 2016 elections. Republicans have been working for decades to get to where they are now — on the cusp of cementing a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for a generation.

How did they get here?

"For conservatives, there has to be a long game," says Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society, because a Supreme Court vacancy is about much more than just overturning . "What

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