The word hypocrisy is nothing new to politicians, Republicans in particular. So those of you who thought Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would practice what he preaches and hold off on replacing the newly departed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the November election, you were dreaming in technicolor.
McConnell, back in 2016, argued that it would be wrong to confirm a Democratic president’s supreme court nominee in the year before a presidential election. Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, waited a whole year, but never got to the Supreme Court after Clinton lost. Now, in good ole sleazy fashion, McConnell is arguing that it’s absolutely right to confirm a Republican supreme court nominee just 47 days before a presidential election.
This is how McConnell is justifying why the rules are simply different. His statement reads:
“The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life. Justice Ginsburg overcame one personal challenge and professional barrier after another. She climbed from a modest Brooklyn upbringing to a seat on our nation’s highest court and into the pages of American history. Justice Ginsburg was thoroughly dedicated to the legal profession and to her 27 years of service on the Supreme Court. Her intelligence and determination earned her respect and admiration throughout the legal world, and indeed throughout the entire nation, which now grieves alongside her family, friends, and colleagues.”
“In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term. We kept our promise. Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year. By contrast, Americans re-elected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise. President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
Democrats will have to work hard in the coming weeks if they are to suppress whoever Trump puts forward. The Trump Administration has axed the filibuster in the past to get his SCOTUS nominees appointed. There is no reason to believe that will change.
On her deathbed, Justice Ginsburg told her granddaughter: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” To do that, Dems will have to convince Republican Senators to vote against whoever the nominee is.