Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined her party on Saturday in dismissing the idea of even considering President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In a letter addressed to Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, Feinstein implored her colleague to consider the legacy of Justice Ginsburg and wait until after the presidential inauguration next year to consider a nomination to replace her.
Further, she said, when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in 2016, Senate Majority Leader McConnell wouldn't consider Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to replace him until after the general election.
Just in: Senate Judiciary ranker Diane Feinstein calls on Graham to not confirm RBG successor before inauguration: “There cannot be one set of rules for a Republican President and one set for a Democratic President.” https://t.co/JK7vaMLgvC— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) September 19, 2020
Feinstein's logic has been echoed and copied by every leftist who has additionally vowed to do anything in their power to stop Trump from putting another Supreme Court Justice on the bench, but her sentiment is a total turnaround from remarks she made only four years ago.
While chiding her Republican colleagues in the Senate for refusing to consider Garland, using the hashtag #DoYourJob, Sen. Feinstein harkened back to 2004 when she considered it to be the responsibility of the Senate to confirm a new justice as quickly as possible, before the new term in October got underway.
"The last time #SCOTUS was at risk for beginning its term without a full bench, the Senate quickly confirmed a nominee—Justice John Roberts," Feinstein said, almost exactly four years ago. "Let me recount what happened: Roberts’ confirmation hearings began 11 years ago this week. I remember them well."
Let me recount what happened: Roberts’ confirmation hearings began 11 years ago this week. I remember them well. #DoYourJob— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 14, 2016
Feinstein praised the Senate for pressing forward in record time with John Roberts's nomination, despite being in the minority party with a Republican in the White House. The hearings, she said, took place rapidly, on time, and without significant incident. All was well by the time the Supreme Court got back to the business of being the highest court in the nation.
The full Senate confirmed Roberts on September 29. When #SCOTUS returned to session in October 2005, it had a full set of nine justices.— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 14, 2016
But for some reason, the replacement of RBG is a totally different set of circumstances. Because Sen. McConnell exercised his ability as the head of the upper chamber of Congress to refuse to confirm a lame-duck president's nomination in 2016, now the Democrats feel that there is almost no situation in which a Trump nominee should be considered.
However, circumstances today are not dissimilar to when she so gleefully praised the Senate for confirming John Roberts. Yes, Trump is headed for a contentious election, but he in no way a lame-duck. Further, Feinstein's concern over whether the Court has a full set of justices at the start of their session seems to have totally evaporated.
The explanation, of course, is that the Democrats are no longer a party of reason or compromise. Just four years after Feinstein so openly praised her colleagues for preserving the integrity of the judicial branch, and encouraging others to "do your job," she's chosen to advocate for delaying a nomination until a more desirable candidate can be put forward. Apparently, having a full court is no longer a priority.
And Sen. Feinstein is in good, hypocritical company. Before her comments in September of 2016, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer remarked that there would be no reason not to go forward with a nomination in an election year.
"Attn GOP: Senate has confirmed 17 #SCOTUS justices in presidential election years. #DoYourJob," he said.
cOnSiStEnCy iS hArD pic.twitter.com/inYfD80N0W— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) September 21, 2020
Neither Sens. Feinstein nor Schumer have used the #DoYourJob hashtag in support of Trump's nominees to any federal appointment.