While Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have been screaming hypocrisy as President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans move forward on a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a video compilation put together by the GOP shows they have no room to speak.
You’ll recall that in February 2016, following the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia, then-President Barack Obama nominated D.C. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland to replace him.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear the Republican-controlled Senate would not be moving forward on the appointment, citing the “Biden rule.”
Then Sen. Joe Biden, while serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, indicated in a speech in June 1992 that then-President George H.W. Bush should not put forward a nominee if a position should open on the Supreme Court. He said the Senate Judiciary Committee should “seriously consider” not even scheduling hearings on any such nomination.
Biden argued that given that the country had a “divided government” at the time — Republican president and Democrat-controlled the Senate — that reflected a lack of a “nationwide consensus.” Therefore, “action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.”
Given that Republicans controlled the Senate with Obama as president in 2016, the Biden rule dictated that no confirmation hearing should be held.
A compilation video put together by Republicans shows that Biden came out against his own rule in 2016 saying, “The American people deserve a fully staffed court of nine.”
Hillary Clinton, then a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, said “The president nominates and then the Senate advises and consents or not, but they go forward with the process.”
Not long ago, Joe Biden said that “the American people deserve a fully-staffed court of nine.”
Fill the seat! pic.twitter.com/K8GpnAMEly
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) September 21, 2020
Similarly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, regarding McConnell’s decision not to move forward on Garland, “What we’re seeing here, and I hope this is temporary, is a disrespect for the Constitution.”
Schumer charged, “Every day that goes by without a ninth justice is another day the American people’s business is not getting done.”
In one of the particularly rich statements of the time (given the Mueller investigation, impeachment and everything else that has followed during the Trump years), Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts accused Republicans of seeking to undermine Obama’s legitimacy as president.
“They do pretty much everything they can to avoid acknowledging the legitimacy of our democratically elected president,” she said.
“I say to you, ‘Do your job. Vote for a Supreme Court nominee.’”
McConnell noted on numerous occasions at the time his decision as leader of the opposition party not to move forward on Obama’s nominee has significant precedent.
The last time the Senate confirmed a nominee from an opposing party’s president during an election year was 1888.
But successful nominations to the Supreme Court have occurred on several occasions when the president and the party controlling the Senate are the same.
Legal experts David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman, in a piece published by The Wall Street Journal on Saturday, pointed out that overall, 21 of 25 Supreme Court nominees have been confirmed during an election year.
In fact some of the most famous justices to serve on the high court were confirmed under these circumstances, including Louis Brandeis in 1916, and Benjamin Cardozo in 1932, SCOTUSblog reported.
In both instances, the party of the president and controlling the Senate were the same.
As far as how quickly nominations can proceed, President Franklin Roosevelt nominated Frank Murphy to the court on Jan. 4, 1940, and the Democrat-controlled Senate confirmed him 12 days later by a voice vote.
Of course, Schumer and other Democrats, as well as members of the establishment media are bludgeoning Republicans like current Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham for arguing against an election-year nomination in 2016, but now being for it in 2020.
Before giving their arguments any weight, consider this: Schumer and the Democrats already told you if the shoe were on the other foot in 2016, they would have moved forward to confirm Garland.
Why shouldn’t the Republicans do the same now? They are only fulfilling what the Constitution gives them the authority to do.
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