GOP Leads in ‘Unprecedented’ Behavior re: SCOTUS Nomination
April 3, 2017

 
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You have to go back to 1991 for the last time a Supreme Court vacancy was filed when Democrats controlled both the House and Senate. The nominee was “Clarence Thomas“, and his nomination went down in history as one of the most controversial picks ever after a former subordinate of his at the EEoC, Law Professor Anita Hill, testified that she had been subjected to years of sexual harassment by her boss, Mr. Thomas. And while Democrats won the White House in 1992, Republicans have controlled either the House, the Senate, or both TEN of the last twelve congresses (27 of the last 31 years.) So it is only by an incredible stroke of luck that the Supreme Court doesn’t have more Conservatives on it that it already does. (Two weeks ago, my weekly Op/Ed was an acknowledgement that fighting the Gorsuch nomination… an even swap of one far-Right judge for another… was not worth distracting from the FAR more serious effort to investigate the Trump Administrations dealings with Russia during the campaign. I ended up DELETING that Op/Ed when I learned that Gorsuch endorsed the appointment of prominent voter suppression activist Hans von Spakovsky to the Federal Election Commission.) So right now, I couldn’t care less how “offended” Republicans are that Democrats might break with tradition and filibuster his nomination. Republicans are whining that “NO Supreme Court nominee has EVER been filibustered in the 200+ year history of our nation.” Yes, but that’s ONLY because the GOP controlled all of Congress when President Obama nominated Republican judge Merrick Garland (widely regarded another neutral vote like Kennedy) to fill the current vacancy (not that I’m shedding any tears over that lost nomination.) Don’t think for ONE moment they wouldn’t do EXACTLY what Democrats are now threatening to do now if THEY had been in the minority.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted exactly that during “Meet the Press” yesterday, claiming Democrats would likewise have held the SCOTUS seat open for 13 months if the roles had been reversed. Chuck Todd asked McConnell the obvious follow-up, “Do we now pass a rule: No Supreme Court nominations in even-numbered (election) years?” McConnell simply laughed and dismissed the question, but it is a valid point. If no president should be allowed to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year where “the will of the voters” is about to be determined at the ballot-box, then you have JUST (in effect) made EVERY OTHER even numbered year “off limits” for appointing & filling Supreme Court vacancies. And other than the vote for President, just as many members of Congress are replaced every mid-term election. Don’t they too decide “the will of the voters”? It’s a legitimate question as a result of “unprecedented obstruction never before seen in our 200+ year history as a nation.” Sorry Republicans, you don’t now get to point fingers and accuse Democrats of extreme partisanship by doing something “never before done by either side of Congress.”

But Democrats requiring a 60 vote “Super Majority” before a vote can be held on a nominee wouldn’t be the only ones breaking with “200+ years of precedent”. Should the GOP decide to use “the nuclear option” and change the Senate Rules, that too would be “unprecedented”.

And it’s not as simple as Republicans simply saying, “We hereby pass a new rule that says it now takes only 51 votes for a SCOTUS nominee to be brought up for a vote.” No. Because changing the Senate Rules ALSO requires a “Super Majority”, so to honestly change a long standing rule against requiring a “Super Majority”, they would likewise need a “Super Majority”. Catch-22.

To get around this, Republican will have to creatively reinterpret Senate rules such as to claim that rendering SCOTUS nominations immune to the filibuster, they aren’t “changing” an existing rule. Noooo. They’re “creating a NEW rule.” Setting precedent. And THAT only requires FIFTY-ONE votes! Nothing funny going on there!

If that sounds a little smarmy to you, you’re not alone. The GOP absolutely does not have the high road on this, and for them to act like innocent victims who would simply be taking advantage of a clearly defined “right” they are entitled to if Democrats engage in “unprecedented” behavior, by my count, they’ll lead the “unprecedented” olympics two scuzzy deeds to one.
 


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April 3, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Civil Rights, myth busting, Party of Life, Politics, rewriting history, Right-Wing Hypocrisy