Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell within hours after the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on September 19, vowed that President Donald Trump’s as-yet unnamed nominee to replace her will receive a full vote on the Senate floor “this year,” but he has been careful not to say exactly when that will happen. Democrats are accusing “Moscow Mitch” of blatant hypocrisy after McConnell refused to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, a full eight months before the 2016 election.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor Monday to remind McConnell of his own words hours after the February 2016 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia when McConnell said: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”
Moscow Mitch was not the only Republican to resist and oppose President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, a full eight months before the 2016 election. Following are comments made by the GOP Senate Liar’s Club 4 years ago:
In 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): “It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don’t do this in an election year.”
In 2016, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): “I don’t think we should be moving on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term – I would say that if it was a Republican president.”
In 2016, Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.): “The very balance of our nation’s highest court is in serious jeopardy. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will do everything in my power to encourage the president and Senate leadership not to start this process until we hear from the American people.”
In 2016, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa): “A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics. The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice.”
In 2016, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.): “The campaign is already under way. It is essential to the institution of the Senate and to the very health of our republic to not launch our nation into a partisan, divisive confirmation battle during the very same time the American people are casting their ballots to elect our next president.”
In 2016, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.): “In this election year, the American people will have an opportunity to have their say in the future direction of our country. For this reason, I believe the vacancy left open by Justice Antonin Scalia should not be filled until there is a new president.”
In 2016, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.): “The Senate should not confirm a new Supreme Court justice until we have a new president.”
2016, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Col.): “I think we’re too close to the election. The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision.”
In 2016, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio): “I believe the best thing for the country is to trust the American people to weigh in on who should make a lifetime appointment that could reshape the Supreme Court for generations. This wouldn’t be unusual. It is common practice for the Senate to stop acting on lifetime appointments during the last year of a presidential term, and it’s been nearly 80 years since any president was permitted to immediately fill a vacancy that arose in a presidential election year.”
In 2016, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.): “I strongly agree that the American people should decide the future direction of the Supreme Court by their votes for president and the majority party in the U.S. Senate.”
BIGGEST LIAR OF THEM ALL
Then there is the biggest lair and hypocrite of them all, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham when he said in 2018:
“If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait to the next election.”
On September 21, Senator Lindsey Graham, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, said that Republicans have the votes to confirm a nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat before the election:
“We got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election. We are going to move forward in the committee. We’re going to report the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election. That’s the constitutional process. … The nominee is going to be supported by every Republican in the Judiciary Committee. “We’ve got the votes to confirm the justice on the floor of the Senate before the election and that’s what’s coming.”
FOUR REPUBLCIAN VOTES NEEDED
Republicans hold slime 53-47 majority in the Senate and can confirm a justice by a simple majority. At least four Republicans would have break with the party to prevent a vote from coming to the floor because in case of a tie, Republican Vice President Mike Pence would vote.
Republican Main Senator Susan Collins said the day after Ginsburg’s death, said she does not support a vote before the election and said:
“Given the proximity of the presidential election, however, I do not believe that the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election,” In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd.”
Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said on Friday, September 18, before Ginsburg’s death was announced:
“I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50-some days away from an election.”
Murkowski followed up on Sunday, September 20 with a statement that she is opposed to voting and said:
“For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election. Sadly, what was then a hypothetical is now our reality, but my position has not changed. I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia. We are now even closer to the 2020 election — less than two months out — and I believe the same standard must apply.”
On Tuesday, September 22, Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said he supports voting to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court. Romney issued the following statement saying he would support moving forward.
“If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications.”
Romney’s announcement all but ensures President Trump has the backing needed to push the nomination over any Democratic objections.
Trump said he intends to announce his choice to replace the late Justice Ginsburg on Saturday, September 26. Trump met with conservative Judge Federal Amy Coney Barrett who he appointed to the bench. On Monday, September 2, Trump told reporters he would interview other candidates and said he might meet with Judge when he travels to Florida. Without winning Florida, its likely Trump will lose the election. Both Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa are considered reliable conservatives who would be likely to set aside Roe v. Wade and rule the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional.
Trump expressed a preference for holding a vote on the nominee before the election and told reporters at the White House on Monday, September 21, before leaving for events in Ohio:
“I’d much rather have a vote before the election because there’s a lot of work to be done, and I’d much rather have it. … And we have plenty of time to do it.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Virtually ever single Republican Senator who successfully succeeded in blocking and preventing any vote to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland in the 2016 election year has now reversed themselves. All of them are falling all over themselves proclaiming it is their “duty to fill the vacancy” as soon as possible and before the November election and even before the President is sworn in on January 8.
No doubt the Republican Senate wants to make sure they create a super majority of conservatives on the 9 member Supreme Court to make sure it can rule that the 2020 election was rigged if Trump is not reelected to allow him to stay in power and to set aside the affordable care act when a case is presented in October. With a far-right conservative Supreme Court its likely Rowe v. Wade will be reversed abolishing a woman’s “right to choose”, any hope of setting aside and reversing Citizens United allowing billions to be spent in dark, corporate money to influence elections is gone and the Republican party, the minority party, will dominate the national agenda for generations.
This is nothing a power grab, pure, plain and simple. The only way to stop it is to vote straight Democrat and remove Trump and the entire GOP Liars Club from office.