And how to repeat it
Thanks to the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as a justice, the Supreme Court will now once again have a relatively solid conservative bloc of four. It will be capable of making law when Justice Anthony Kennedy joins it. That’s roughly as much strength as conservatives have had on the bench since the Warren Court. And it puts conservatives only one vote shy of their first majority in modern times.
Two men, above all, are responsible for this achievement. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell made it possible by announcing, the day that Justice Antonin Scalia died, that the Senate would not take up any nomination to fill his seat until a new president took office. It was a bold move that many other Republicans second-guessed, especially during those periods of the presidential campaign when Hillary Clinton was substantially ahead in the polls. But McConnell persisted in his course.