It true that a few years ago Mitch McConnell stated at the time that the reason he would not bring President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee for a vote was because it was an election year. He stated that he believes in an election year, a Supreme Court nominee should be selected by whoever is the incoming President, and that the Senate would then either confirm or deny whoever that nominee is.
The truth is that was never the reason for holding up the nominee. It was all about politics. They simply did not want to confirm President Obama’s nominee. They should have had the courage at the time to either say that, or say that they would do it after the election without giving the excuse that they did.
The could have simply brought the nominee before the Committee and not confirm him, but they did not do that. The tactic they used may have been bad politics, but it was certainly within their authority to do what they did.
Shift forward to the present. To witness Democrats’ reaction to the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and President Trump’s intent to fill her seat before the elections; one would think that it is the crime of the century (even worse than Trump’s treasonous act of selling out to Russia). On top of all of that the same Republican Senate committee who refused to vote on President Obama’s nominee, now plan to rush through Trump’s nominee just over the course of six weeks.
Well you make not like it, but elections have consequences.
Since the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh Democrats have been threatening to pack the court should they regain the Senate, in order to shift the balance of power in their favor on the courts. These are the same people who also want to abolish the Electoral College, and get rid of the filibuster. They want to grant statehood to Washington D.C., and change many of the rules that have Governed the political process since the country’s founding.
Right about now might be a good time to remind people that, like so many of the awful policies and practices in this country; politicization of Supreme Court nominees is a Democrat Party innovation. There was a time when the Senate Judiciary committee always voted on whoever the President nominated to the Supreme Court. They committee would either confirm or reject the nominee.
The nominees always got confirmed, regardless of their judicial philosophy. That tradion was blown up, and came to an unceremonious end just over 30 years ago when Democrats went on a seek and destroy mission against the nomination of Judge Robert Bjork.
They dragged his name through the mud. They accused him of wanting to turn back the hands of time. They claimed women’s right would be threatened, black people would see their civil rights progress turned back, and many other unfounded claims. Democrats torpedoed his nomination, and so began the politicization of Supreme Court nominations. A few years later they did the same with Judge Clarence Thomas, but were unable to stop him from being confirmed.
This has been the model that the Democrats have used since then in order to stymie the process of confirming any nominee to the Supreme Court selected by a Republican President. Then a few years ago, in order to ram through President Obama’s District Court nominees, they changed the committee rules, got rid of the filibuster (a favored tactic that they themselves have abused in the past) and confirmed a number of judges to the courts over the objections of Republicans. They were warned that their tactics would come back to haunt them.
Keeping all of this in mind, why would the Republicans not exercise their constitutional duty to confirm a nominee for the Supreme Court sent to them by the President, and leader of their party. It is true that Mitch McConnell held up President Obama’s nominee and refused to immediately vote on his nomination, but once again; that’s called the consequence of an election.
The people elected a Republican Senate to act as a check and a balance to the power of the executive branch at the time. That is the way that the constitution designed the system to work between the three equal, independent branches of Government, to guard against the abuse of unfettered power by any one of those branches. Sometimes it works in one party’s favor, sometimes the other.
Lindsay Graham said it best, “Democrats chose to set in motion rules changes to stack the court at the Circuit level and they chose to try to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s life to keep the Supreme Court seat open. You reap what you sew.”
Deal with it Democrats!