Senate Democrats Decried Any Delay In Filling The Supreme Court Vacancy In 2016, But Now Want To Hold The Seat Open
- Within hours of Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement announcement, Senate Democrats asserted the Senate should not hold a hearing or vote on a nominee until after the midterm elections.
- But these same Democrats who now insist on delaying a hearing, or a vote, for Justice Kennedy's successor once claimed doing so was: irresponsible, an abdication of the Senate's duties, potentially "unconstitutional," and would impair the Court's ability to function.
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY): "Our system of checks and balances requires 9 SCOTUS justices. Playing politics only weakens our democracy. #DoYourJob."
- Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote that Senators are "sent to Washington to serve our constituents for six years. That includes considering nominees to the Supreme Court," and "refusal" to consider a nominee will "only further diminish the Senate in the eyes of the American people."
- Senator Tim Kaine: "The blockade on filling a naturally occurring vacancy in my view is harmful to the Article Three branch."
- Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN): "The Constitution is clear: the Senate must consider the President's nominee and then choose whether to vote 'yes' or 'no.' We must do our job, hold hearings, and vote."
- Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
- Then: "The Senate has a responsibility to fill Supreme Court vacancies and I hope we're given a chance to full consider the president's nominee."
- Now: "I believe the American people should be given a chance to express their views in the upcoming election, before the Senate exercises its constitutional duty."
- Democrats have tried to create a farcical 'McConnell Rule,' but their argument relies on a false equivalency since Republicans' invocation of the Biden Rule was reliant on an upcoming presidential election which is not applicable to the upcoming midterm election.
- The Washington Post: "Democrats are simply spinning a false narrative" and are "grasping at straws."
FLIP-FLOP: SENATE DEMOCRATS WERE AGAINST DELAYING A SCOTUS VOTE BEFORE THEY SUPPORTED IT
Last Week, Justice Kennedy Announced He Would Retire And Senate Republicans Stated They Would Vote On A Replacement Before The Midterm Elections
On June 27, Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy Announced He Would Retire, Telling President Trump "That Effective July 31, He Would End 'Regular Active Status.'" "Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced he will retire. He notified President Trump in a letter Wednesday. In the letter, he told Mr. Trump that effective July 31, he would end 'regular active status as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, while continuing to serve in a senior status.'" ("Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy Retiring," CBS News , 6/27/18)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-RY) Said The Senate "Will Vote To Confirm Justice Kennedy's Successor This Fall." "Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that the Senate will vote in the fall to confirm President Trump's forthcoming nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. 'The Senate stands ready to fulfill its constitutional role by offering advice and consent … We will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy's successor this fall,' McConnell said from the Senate floor." (Jordain Carney, "McConnell: Senate Will Vote On The Supreme Court Nominee This Fall," The Hill , 6/27/18)
In 2016, Senate Democrats Claimed "Our System Of Checks And Balances Requires Nine Supreme Court Justices" And That "The American People Deserve A Full And Functioning" Court
In 2016, Senator Schumer Tweeted "Our System Of Checks & Balances Requires 9 #SCOTUS Justices. Playing Politics Only Weakens Our Democracy." "Our system of checks & balances requires 9 #SCOTUS justices. Playing politics only weakens our democracy. #DoYourJob." (Sen. Chuck Schumer, Twitter Feed , 2/17/16)
In 2016, Senator Durbin Said "In A Few Weeks The Supreme Court Will Start Its New Term With Eight Justices. We Need Nine. Major Legal Questions Are Hanging In Limbo Because The Court Is Deadlocked On 4-4 Votes." SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): "In a few weeks the Supreme Court will start its new term with eight justices. We need nine. Major legal questions are hanging in limbo because the court is deadlocked on 4-4 votes." (Sen. Dick Durbin, Remarks At Press Conference, 9/07/16)
Senator Durbin Insisted It Was "A Shame," "Unfortunate," And Arguably "Unconstitutional" To Not Hold A Hearing And A Vote For Merrick Garland. "'Why would the Republican majority in the Senate go out on a limb and take a position that's never been taken before in the history of the United States to deny Merrick Garland a hearing and a vote? Well, because there are certain people in high places who want to see a president named Donald Trump fill this vacancy. They believe that he would pick a person closer to their political liking, someone who would serve their economic interests,' said Durbin. 'It's a shame, it's unfortunate, and some would argue, unconstitutional…It is a sad chapter in the history of the United States Senate, written for political reasons, at the expense of a man who should have his day before a hearing, in sworn testimony, to tell us how he would like to continue to serve this nation.'" (Press Release, "Durbin Meets With Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland, Calls On Senate GOP To Do Their Job," Sen. Dick Durbin , 9/14/16)
In 2016, Senator Feinstein Insisted That "The Court Needs Nine Justices To Function Properly. It Is Vital To Our Judicial System." "'The court needs nine justices to function properly. It is vital to our judicial system. So Republicans, we say this, just do your job. Just do what you're sent here to do,' said Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California." (Kevin Liptak, "Senate Democrats Converge Around Supreme Court Strategy," CNN , 2/25/16)
- Senator Feinstein Wrote That Senators Are "Sent To Washington To Serve Our Constituents For Six Years. That Includes Considering Nominees To The Supreme Court," And "Refusal" To Consider A Nominee Will "Only Further Diminish The Senate In The Eyes Of The American People." "I believe this distinguished record should send a message to every senator. We were sent to Washington to serve our constituents for six years. That includes considering nominees to the Supreme Court. Judge Garland's long record of public service calls for fair consideration, open hearings and a vote. Refusal to do this would, in my judgment, only further diminish the Senate in the eyes of the American people." (Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Op-Ed, "Don't Disgrace The Senate By Snubbing Garland: Dianne Feinstein," USA Today , 4/8/16)
In 2016, Senator Sanders Said, "The Supreme Court Of The United States Has Nine Members, Not Eight. We Need That Ninth Member." SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): "The Supreme Court of the United States has nine members, not eight. We need that ninth member." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 2/14/16)
- In 2016, Senator Sanders Said, "The Senate's Function Is To Hold Hearings And To Vote." SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): "The President of the United States has the right to nominate someone to be a justice of the Supreme Court. The Senate's function is to hold hearings and to vote. I think the Republicans will pay a very heavy political price if they continue to obstruct on this issue." (MSNBCS's " The Rachel Maddow Show, " 3/17/16)
In 2016, Senator Klobuchar Tweeted The Supreme Court "Can't Function" With Only Eight Justices. "#SCOTUS deadlocked decision on immigration is clear reminder that court can't function w 8 justices. Time for my colleagues to #DoYourJob." (Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Twitter Feed , 6/24/16)
- In 2016, Klobuchar Claimed That "Eight Is Not Enough On The United States Supreme Court." "'When the Constitution says advise and consent, it doesn't say advise and consent after the presidential election," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., 'This is not just some TV show, right. 'Eight is Enough.' Eight is not enough on the United States Supreme Court … so we ask our colleagues to do their jobs,'" she said." (Lynn Sweet, "Sweet: Democrat's Message To GOP On Garland - 'Do Your Job!'," Chicago Sun-Times , 9/7/16)
- Senator Klobuchar: "The Constitution Is Clear: The Senate Must Consider The President's Nominee And Then Choose Whether To Vote 'Yes' Or 'No.' We Must Do Our Job, Hold Hearings, And Vote." "'The President has done his job in nominating this exemplary jurist. Now, we need to do our job in the Senate,' said Klobuchar. 'While I look forward to meeting with Judge Garland, I have met him several times in the past and liked him. I have been particularly impressed by his record and background as well as his ability to gain bipartisan support with his 76-23 Senate vote for the D.C. Circuit. The Constitution is clear: the Senate must consider the President's nominee and then choose whether to vote 'yes' or 'no.' We must do our job, hold hearings, and vote.'" (Press Release, "After President Announces Supreme Court Nominee, Klobuchar Calls On U.S. Senate To Hold Hearings And Vote," Sen. Amy Klobuchar , 3/16/16)
In 2016, Senator Casey Tweeted "Congress Is Back, Can We Finally Get A Hearing And A Vote On @SCOTUSNom? #WeNeedNine #DoYourJob." " .@SenateGOP Congress is back, can we finally get a hearing and a vote on @SCOTUSnom? #WeNeedNine #DoYourJob" (Sen. Robert Casey, Twitter Feed , 9/7/16)
In 2016, Senator Menendez Argued That "We Must Confirm A Ninth Justice To The [Supreme] Court" Because "The American People Deserve A Decisive Answer, Not A Hung Jury." "U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez issued the following statement in reaction to the Supreme Court split decision, effectively blocking President Obama's immigration executive actions to create the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program (DAPA) and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA):… 'Today's unexpected decision only further reminds us why we must confirm a ninth Justice to the Court: The American people deserve a decisive answer, not a hung jury. It's time for Republicans in the U.S. Senate to do their job.'" (Press Release, "Menendez Statement on SCOTUS Immigration Ruling," Sen. Bob Menendez , 6/23/16)
In 2016, Senator Leahy Said, "The Supreme Court Needs To Be At Full Strength To Provide The American People Certainty And Clarity Of Our Rights Under The Constitution." "The Supreme Court needs to be at full strength to provide the American people certainty and clarity of our rights under the Constitution." (Press Release, "Statement On The Supreme Court Nomination Of Chief Judge Merrick Garland," Sen. Pat Leahy , 9/27/16)
In 2016, Senator Coons Said, "The American People Deserve A Full And Functioning Supreme Court." "Today's [Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt] ruling is also a reminder of the Supreme Court's critical role as the last line of defense against incursions on constitutional rights, and why the American people deserve a full and functioning Supreme Court." (Press Release, "Senator Coons' Statement On Supreme Court Ruling On Whole Woman's Health V. Hellerstedt," Sen. Chris Coons , 06/27/16)
In 2016, Senator Kaine Said, "The Blockade On Filling A Naturally Occurring Vacancy In My View Is Harmful To The Article Three Branch." SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): "The death of Justice Scalia creates concern among those who fear a natural transition on the court and so there's an effort to stop that natural and lawful transition. The blockade on filling a naturally occurring vacancy in my view is harmful to the Article three branch. Even in the three months since Justice Scalia's death the court rulings have shown the challenges of an eight member court." (Sen. Tim Kaine, Remarks On The Senate Floor, Washington, D.C., 3/18/16)
In 2016, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Said, "Do Your Job, Vote For A Supreme Court Nominee." SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): "Do your job, vote for a Supreme Court nominee. Do your job, vote for District Court judges and Circuit Court judges. Do your job, vote on Ambassadors. Do your job, vote on agency leaders and counter-terrorism official. If you want to stop extremism in your party, you can start by showing the American people that you respect the President of the United States and the Constitution enough to do your job right here in the United States Senate." (Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Remarks On The Senate Floor , Washington, D.C., 3/9/16)
However, Starting The Very Day That Kennedy's Retirement Was Announced, Democrats Insisted The Senate Should Not Hold A Hearing Or Vote On A Nominee Until After The Midterm Elections
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Advocated For Not Voting For A Supreme Court Nominee During An Election Year. SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): "This is the most important Supreme Court vacancy for this county in at least a generation. Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016 not to consider a Supreme Court Justice in an election year." (Sen. Chuck Schumer, Remarks On The Senate Floor, Washington, D.C., 6/27/18)
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) Said Republicans Should Wait Until January To Confirm The Successor To Justice Kennedy. "Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) says that Republicans should wait until January to confirm the successor to retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a frequent swing vote on the court." (Alexander Bolton, "Durbin: Supreme Court Confirmation Should Wait Until After Election," The Hill , 6/27/18)
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Tweeted, "4 Months Away From An Election, There Should Be No Consideration Of The Supreme Court Until The American People Have A Say." "4 months away from an election, there should be no consideration of a Supreme Court nominee until the American people have a say. Leader McConnell set that standard when he denied Judge Garland a hearing for nearly a year, and the Senate should follow the McConnell Standard now." (Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Twitter Feed , 6/27/18)
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Said "President Trump Should Not Nominate, And The Senate Should Not Confirm, A Supreme Court Justice Until The American People Have Had The Opportunity To Make Their Voices Heard In November." "When President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, Republican leader Mitch McConnell said, 'The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.' We should listen to what Sen. McConnell said. President Trump should not nominate, and the Senate should not confirm, a Supreme Court justice until the American people have had the opportunity to make their voices heard in November." (Press Release, "Sanders Statement On Justice Kennedy," Sen. Bernie Sanders , 6/27/18)
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) Said The Senate "Should Only Consider [A Supreme Court] Nomination When a New Senate Is Seated In January." "'Majority Leader McConnell once said that 'the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice,' so he should ensure that's the case and follow his own rule. The Senate should only consider this nomination when a new Senate is seated in January.'" (Press Release, "Casey: Wait Until After Election For Supreme Court Confirmation, Abandon Any Nominee From Far-Right List," Sen. Bob Casey , 6/27/18)
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) Tweeted, "I Believe The American People Should Be Given A Chance To Express Their Views In The Upcoming Election, Before The Senate Exercises Its Constitutional Duty." "Justice Kennedy was a balanced, consensus candidate nominated by President Reagan. I expect President Trump to do the same. I believe the American people should be given a chance to express their views in the upcoming election, before the Senate exercises its constitutional duty." (Sen. Bill Nelson, Twitter Feed , 6/27/18)
- In 2016, Senator Nelson Claimed "The Senate Has A Responsibility To Fill Supreme Court Vacancies." "The Senate has a responsibility to fill Supreme Court vacancies and I hope we're given a chance to full consider the president's nominee." (Sen. Bill Nelson, Twitter Feed , 3/16/16)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) Tweeted, "A Confirmation Vote Should Take Place After A New Congress Is Seated." "The American people shld have a voice. A confirmation vote shld take place after a new Congress is seated. My Republican colleagues shld follow their own precedent." (Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Twitter Feed , 6/27/18)
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) Said McConnell Should "Wait For The American People To Have Their Say In The November Election Before Bringing A Nominee Before The Senate." "We arrived in this moment because of a perversion of the Constitution and Senate rules - by Mitch McConnell literally stealing a President's power to appoint a Supreme Court justice. He should apply his own standard to this vacancy and wait for the American people to have their say in the November election before bringing a nominee before the Senate." (Press Release, "Booker Statement On The Retirement Of Justice Anthony Kennedy," Sen. Cory Booker , 6/27/18)
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) Said "The American People Deserve To Have Their Voice Heard On This Supreme Court Seat. We Shouldn't Consider A Nominee Until They Have Voted At The Ballot Box." "The American people deserve to have their voice heard on this Supreme Court seat. We shouldn't consider a nominee until they have voted at the ballot box." (Sen. Kamala Harris, Twitter Feed , 6/28/18)
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Tweeted, "We Should NOT Vote To Confirm A Lifetime Appointment To The Supreme Court And Change The Country For Decades When In Just 131 Days Americans Will Go To The Polls To Decide What Direction They Want The Country To Go In." "We should NOT vote to confirm a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court and change the country for decades when in just 131 days Americans will go to the polls to decide what direction they want the country to go in. A more reasoned debate would happen next year.#SaveSCOTUS" (Sen. Bob Menendez, Twitter Feed , 6/28/18)
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Tweeted "No [Supreme Court] Nominee Should Be Considered Until AFTER The Election." "No nominee should be considered until AFTER the election." (Sen. Jeff Merkley, Twitter Feed , 6/27/18)
DESPERATE SENATE DEMOCRATS HAVE RESORTED TO A FALSE EQUIVALENCY TO JUSTIFY THEIR DESIRED DELAY
Democrats' Feigned Ignorance As To The Difference Between A Midterm And A Presidential Election Illustrates The Absurdity Of Their Argument
In March 2016, President Obama Appointed Judge Merrick Garland To The Supreme Court. " President Obama nominated Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, calculating that the highly regarded jurist might blunt some of the expected political attacks and ultimately embarrass Senate Republicans into dropping their fierce opposition to the nomination." (Juliet Eilperin and Mike DeBonis, " President Obama Nominates Merrick Garland To The Supreme Court ," The Washington Post, 3/16/16)
- 2016 Was A Presidential Election Year. "The current situation - an opening on the high court during a presidential election year - has come up only a handful of times in modern history. Obama's particular circumstances - an outgoing president in his last year in office - are even more unusual." (Jon Schuppe, "Obama's Election Year Supreme Court Choice Is Not Unprecedented." NBC News , 2/15/16)
After Judge Garland Was Nominated To Fill The Supreme Court Vacancy, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Announced The Senate Would Withhold Its Consent "During A Presidential Year." "Here's Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), immediately after Garland was nominated: 'A majority of the Senate has decided to fulfill its constitutional role of advice and consent by withholding support for the nomination during a presidential election year, with millions of votes having been cast in highly charged contests.'" (Aaron Blake, "Democrats' Bogus Argument About What The GOP Said About Supreme Court Nominees In An Election Year," The Washington Post , 6/27/18)
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Agreed That The Supreme Court Vacancy "Should Not Be Filled By This Lame Duck President." "Here's what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said: 'I believe the overwhelming view of the Republican Conference in the Senate is that this nomination should not be filled, this vacancy should not be filled by this lame duck president.'" (Aaron Blake, "Democrats' Bogus Argument About What The GOP Said About Supreme Court Nominees In An Election Year," The Washington Post , 6/27/18)
- McConnell Cited The "Biden Rule," Saying Republicans Were "Following A Long-Standing Tradition Of Not Filling Vacancies On The Supreme Court In The Middle Of A Presidential Election Year." "And while making the case on 'Fox News Sunday' in March 2016, McConnell repeatedly cited the presidential election year, not just an election year: 'We're following the Biden rule. And Biden was chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1992, in a presidential election year, he said the Senate should not act on filling a Supreme Court vacancy if it had occurred that year. . . . So, all we're doing, Chris, is following a long-standing tradition of not filling vacancies on the Supreme Court in the middle of a presidential election year.'" (Aaron Blake, "Democrats' Bogus Argument About What The GOP Said About Supreme Court Nominees In An Election Year," The Washington Post , 6/27/18)
After Justice Kennedy Announced His Retirement, Democrats Accused Senate Republicans "Of Going Back On What They Said In 2016 When They Blocked Merrick Garland's Nomination Because Of The Impending Election." "Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's retirement is only a few hours old, and it has already fueled a barrage of hypocrisy charges. Senate GOP leaders say they will press forward with confirming a new justice this fall, and Democrats are accusing them of going back on what they said in 2016, when they blocked Merrick Garland's nomination because of the impending election." (Aaron Blake, "Democrats' Bogus Argument About What The GOP Said About Supreme Court Nominees In An Election Year," The Washington Post , 6/27/18)
- However, Senate Republicans Argued In 2016 That Supreme Court Vacancies Should Not Be Filled During Presidential Election Years, Not Midterm Election Years. "The GOP did argue in 2016 that a Supreme Court vacancy shouldn't be filled until after voters had their say in the coming election, but their argument was about who gets to nominate the justice - not who gets to confirm him or her. It was about presidential election years, not midterms." (Aaron Blake, "Democrats' Bogus Argument About What The GOP Said About Supreme Court Nominees In An Election Year," The Washington Post , 6/27/18)
Senator Durbin Claimed Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) "Set The New Standard", And Therefore, The Senate "Must Be Consistent And Consider The President's Nominee Once The New Congress Is Seated In January." "Senator McConnell set the new standard by giving the American people their say in the upcoming election before Court vacancies are filled. With so much at stake for the people of our country, the U.S. Senate must be consistent and consider the President's nominee once the new Congress is seated in January." (Press Release, "Durbin Statement On Retirement Of Justice Kennedy," Sen. Dick Durbin , 6/27/18)
- "The McConnell Rule" Is A Term Used By Senate Democrats In Response To "The Biden Rule," A Term Senate Republicans Used When They Decided Not To Consider President Obama's Supreme Court Nominee In 2016 Because It Was A Presidential Election Year. "There's a lot of chatter about 'The McConnell Rule.' There shouldn't be, because it's immaterial. The Senate gets to decide what to do with judicial nominations; everything else is just shouting. In 2016, the Senate was controlled by Republicans. A Democratic president sent that Senate a nomination it didn't like, and that Senate decided not to act on it. Because that president had a track record of nominating judges that the Senate majority disliked, the Senate decided to not act on any nominees until the election. This decision was dressed up by Mitch McConnell as 'the Biden Rule.'" (Charles C. W. Cooke, "The 'Biden Rule' And The 'McConnell Rule' Are Distractions," National Review , 6/28/18)
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Tweeted, "Mitch McConnell Should Follow The Mitch McConnell Rule." "Mitch McConnell should follow the Mitch McConnell rule. Let the American people have a say when women's health and equal rights are on the line." (Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Twitter Feed , 6/27/18)
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Said She "Believe[s] Strongly We've Got To Hold [Republicans] To The McConnell Rule" And Not Hold A Vote On A Supreme Court Justice During An Election Year. SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): "There is an election coming up. I believe strongly we've got to hold them to the McConnell rule, and that is the rule that you don't have a vote on a Supreme Court justice during an election year. That is number one." (MSNBC's "All In," 6/27/18)
- Klobuchar Said She "Would Argue Strongly" That The Senate "Should Use The Same Rule That Senator McConnell Used And Not Have A Vote Until After The Election." "'In light of the unique position here for filling Justice Kennedy's seat and in light of the very recent history of appointments to the Supreme Court, I would argue strongly that while the President can nominate someone, we should use the same rule that Senator McConnell used and not have a vote until after the election.'" (Press Release, "VIDEO: Klobuchar Discusses Impact Of Justice Kennedy's Retirement On Future Of Supreme Court," Sen. Amy Klobuchar , 6/28/18)
Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) Tweeted, "Every Republican Embraced The McConnell Standard Last Congress To Allow The American People An Opportunity To Weigh In So Close To An Election. We Can Wait Now, Just As We Did Then." "There is no justification for rushing this process. Every Republican embraced the #McConnellStandard last Congress to allow the American people an opportunity to weigh in so close to an election. We can wait now, just as we did then." (Sen. Pat Leahy, Twitter Feed , 6/28/18)
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) Claimed That Republicans Refused To Give Merrick Garland A Hearing "In A Similar Fact Pattern" And Are Now Turning Around And Doing "The Exact Opposite." "For the Republican majority to refuse to give a hearing to an eminently qualified, centrist nominee in Merrick Garland for almost a year and now turn around and do the exact opposite in a similar fact pattern, I think, is just the height of hypocrisy." (Sen. Chris Coons, Twitter Feed , 6/28/18)
Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) And Mark Warner (D-VA) Released A Statement Calling For The Vacant Supreme Court Justice Seat To Remain Open Because "The Republican Senate Leadership Established A Clear Precedent." "Both of Virginia's Democratic senators on Thursday called for the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to remain open until after the November mid-term elections, citing a similar Republican decision in 2016. 'The Republican Senate leadership established a clear precedent when it refused to take up the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland: Do not fill a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year,' Sen. Tim Kaine said in a statement. 'It is only fair that this precedent should also be applied to the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy only four months before the 2018 mid-term election.'" (Patrick Wilson, "Citing McConnell In 2016, Kaine And Warner Want Court Seat Left Vacant Until After Election," Richmond Times-Dispatch , 6/28/18)
The Democrats' Argument Is So Tenuous That The Washington Post Reported Democrats Were Purposely "Spinning A False Narrative" And "Grasping At Straws"
The Washington Post Called Senate Democrat's Justification For Delaying A Hearing And Vote On Kennedy's Successor's Nomination "Grasping At Straws." "And whatever you think of the justification offered to block Garland, it was clearly in reference to presidential election years, not midterms. This is grasping at straws, in the truest sense." (Aaron Blake, "Democrats' Bogus Argument About What The GOP Said About Supreme Court Nominees In An Election Year," The Washington Post , 6/27/18)
The Washington Post : "The Republican Position, Whether You Disagreed With It Or Not, Clearly Was Based On The Fact That It Was A Presidential Election Year." "But here's the rub: the Republican position, whether you disagreed with it or not, clearly was based on the fact that it was a presidential election year." (Glenn Kessler, "For The Record: Supreme Court Nominees Considered In 'Election Years'," The Washington Post , 6/27/18)
The Washington Post : "Bottom Line: It's Pretty Clear The Debate In 2016 Revolved Around Nominations Made In A Presidential Election Year. Democrats Are Simply Spinning A False Narrative." "Bottom line: it's pretty clear the debate in 2016 revolved around nominations made in a presidential election year. Democrats are simply spinning a false narrative." (Glenn Kessler, "For The Record: Supreme Court Nominees Considered In 'Election Years'," The Washington Post , 6/27/18)
The Washington Post's Anne Gearan Said The Democrats' Argument "Isn't Their Strongest", Citing The Difference Between A Presidential Election Year And A Midterm Election Year. FOX'S CHRIS WALLACE: "Does that Democratic talking point, the idea that it's an election, you have to wait until the Senate is changed by the voters in November. Does that talking point go anywhere?" THE WASHINGTON POSTS'S ANNE GEARAN: "Well, I think the Democrats are already backing away from it, which is an indication that perhaps it isn't their strongest argument. The difference between a presidential election year and a midterm election year is the main problem there." (Fox's " Fox News Sunday," 7/1/18)
Thomas Jipping, A Senior Legal Fellow At The Heritage Foundation: "If Republicans Had Said In 2016 That The Senate Should Never Consider Any Supreme Court Nominee In Any Election Year, He Might Be Right. But, Of Course, They Said No Such Thing." "Schumer said that considering a Supreme Court nominee this year would be hypocrisy because of 'the rule that [Republicans] set in 2016 not to consider a Supreme Court Justice in an election year.' If Republicans had said in 2016 that the Senate should never consider any Supreme Court nominee in any election year, he might be right. But, of course, they said no such thing." (Thomas Jipping, Op-Ed, "Schumer And His Fellow Democrats The Real Hypocrites When It Comes To Judicial Nominees," The Hill , 6/29/18)
Jipping Said, "No one, Republican Or Democrat, Has Ever Said That The Senate Should Never Consider A Supreme Court Nominee In An Election Year." "No one, Republican or Democrat, has ever said that the Senate should never consider a Supreme Court nominee in an election year. In fact, it did so as recently as 2010, confirming Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. If Republicans believed what Schumer is now claiming, they would have objected on the grounds that 2010 (like 2018) was a mid-term congressional election year. No one did." (Thomas Jipping, Op-Ed, "Schumer And His Fellow Democrats The Real Hypocrites When It Comes To Judicial Nominees," The Hill , 6/29/18)
Jipping: "Republicans Did Not Say In 2016 That The Senate Should Never Consider A Supreme Court Nominee In Any Election Year, And Therefore Doing So Today Doesn't Make Them Hypocrites." "Anyway, Republicans did not say in 2016 that the Senate should never consider a Supreme Court nominee in any election year, and therefore doing so today doesn't make them hypocrites." (Thomas Jipping, Op-Ed, "Schumer And His Fellow Democrats The Real Hypocrites When It Comes To Judicial Nominees," The Hill , 6/29/18)
White House SCOTUS