WaPo To Democrats: Your Argument To Block Filling Justice Kennedy's Vacancy Is 'Bogus'

Posted: Jun 28, 2018 12:50 PM
WaPo To Democrats: Your Argument To Block Filling Justice Kennedy's Vacancy Is 'Bogus'

The Democrats are not taking the news of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement well at all. It’s a full-blown meltdown. I mean, if you thought the Neil Gorsuch nomination drama was bad—and it got intense at times, brace yourselves for the barbarian hordes this summer. Yes, the Democrats will up the ante—they have to due to pressure from their base and the fact that the composition of the court is truly at stake. Conservatives are primed to have a solid majority on the Supreme Court for the next generation. With Trump at the helm, you bet everyone needs to fix bayonets. 

So, what’s the opening salvo from Democrats: hold off filling the vacancy because it’s an election year. It’s a naked and utterly pathetic attempt to paint the GOP as hypocrites (via The Hill):

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said Wednesday that it would be the “height of hypocrisy” for Republicans to vote on a nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy before the November midterm elections.

Schumer said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should show consistency and respect for his own precedent by delaying Senate confirmation proceedings for Kennedy's successor until 2019, when a new Congress is seated.

“Millions of people are just months away from determining the senators who should vote to confirm or reject the president’s nominee and their voices deserve to be heard,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.

He said “anything by that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy.”

Well, they’re wrong. Democrats are always wrong. The Biden rule, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rightfully applied to the Merrick Garland nomination in 2016, is grounded in presidential elections. If it were otherwise, then Elana Kagan shouldn’t have been considered; she was appointed in 2010. Even The Washington Post said the Democrats position on this is “bogus.”

Here's what we can say: Democrats are protesting too much.


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 clearly about presidential election years, not midterms.

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.”

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.”


Grassley even said recently that, in his post atop the Judiciary Committee, he would advocate that any Supreme Court vacancies in 2020 (i.e. during the next presidential election) be left vacant because of the so-called "Biden rule."

The Post said of the Democrats, “this is grasping at straws, in the truest sense.”

So, the first swing at whoever will be the next Supreme Court nominee will be was a whiff. But rest assured, the tactics, the rhetoric, and the tantrums will be more effective, more vicious, and downright biblical as we approach the fall. McConnell has already declared this vacancy will be filled by then—just in time for the 2018 elections.