We say this not because it is contrary to the Democrats’ own best interests, though that is probably true, too: Filling the former Scalia seat won’t tip the court’s ideological balance, yet provoking Republicans to resort to the filibuster-abolishing “nuclear option” would leave Democrats disarmed of that weapon against a second Trump pick should another vacancy arise during his presidency.The test of whether their objection is really rooted where they say it is rooted will come when/if Trump gets an opportunity to replace a liberal Justice.
Our objection is rooted, rather, in our belief that the Supreme Court confirmation process needs to be protected from partisan politics to the greatest extent possible and that a scorched-earth Democratic response to any nominee, regardless of the individual merits, would simply deepen that harmful politicization.....
But I see the loophole the WaPo editors have left for themselves:
The Supreme Court confirmation process needs to be protected from partisan politics to the greatest extent possible but we surpass that "greatest extent" if Trump is replacing a liberal Justice with anyone who's a solid conservative.
There's even an alternative path to a loophole: The core value is protecting the Supreme Court from partisan politics, nominating a solid conservative to replace a liberal threatens that value, so strong opposition to this nominee is no longer politicizing the Court but saving the Court from harmful politicization.