Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has yet to say how he’ll approach his party’s Supreme Court ethics legislation — a historic bid to check the high court after reports of ethically questionable behavior among its justices. But lawmakers in his Senate Democratic caucus are eager to put their Republican colleagues on the record with a floor vote.

Washington is betting that the proposal won’t go further than the Judiciary Committee, which cleared it along party lines Thursday. Any action beyond that would be a waste of time, the thinking goes, since it’s all but guaranteed to be filibustered and would be dead on arrival in the GOP-controlled House. But in interviews with your Huddle host, a dozen of Schumer’s Democrats challenged that conventional wisdom. They said they’re itching to force Republicans to reject the ethics measure — and pay the political price of that vote. Schumer sounds interested in pressing the matter, too.

“The American people deserve to have all members of the judiciary … accountable to some kind of ethical standards,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in an interview. “And anybody who disagrees with that proposition should be held accountable” themselves.

POLITICO reported earlier this week that Democrats are betting that a Senate focus on Supreme Court ethics will help them remind voters of its recent flurry of conservative rulings, even after the justices’ term is over for the year. It doesn’t hurt that the highest-profile reports about potential ethical liabilities at the court touch on two conservative justices — Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

Democrats also think the added national visibility that accompanies a floor vote might pressure the Supreme Court into setting its own stricter rules as confidence in the institution hits historic lows.

“I would hope that we would bring it to the floor, because I think it [makes] it more likely that the Supreme Court might act,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said.

If this Dem strategy sounds familiar, it should. Schumer pushed doomed floor votes last year on issues like voting rights and abortion access despite near-unanimous GOP opposition. The leader vowed again on Thursday to work with bill sponsors to “make progress on this legislation.”

But any hope of getting 60 votes in the Senate would have to start with moderate Republicans like Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and she’s unimpressed with the committee-passed SCOTUS ethics push. That measure would require the court to adopt and publish a code of conduct within 180 days, establish a process for investigating alleged violations and beef up disclosure rules for gifts and travel.

Murkowski (R-Alaska), a perennial swing vote in her chamber, said she had “real concerns” that the ethics legislation is “way too prescriptive and violates” the Constitution’s separation of powers. She and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) have their own, less stringent bipartisan bill requiring the court to establish an ethics code.

But Murkowski’s still frustrated with the court’s handling of the swirl of ethics concerns, which “does not make them look good,” she told Huddle. “They could have responded differently and this matter would have been put to bed a long time ago. So, that’s their failure.”

Republicans other than Murkowski have been even more skeptical, bashing the legislation as unnecessary, a separation-of-powers violation and an act of retaliation against the 6-3 conservative-led court following a series of decisions that outraged Democrats.

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