Yes, The Senate Can Confirm a New Nominee Before The Election

I was on CBS News today with my friend Kim Wehle on the replacement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  There is a legitimate debate over whether a president should wait for the next election for such a nomination to move forward. However, I disagree with Wehle that a nomination would be unlikely given the roughly 40 days left before the election. The Senate could move this nomination in that time and, judging from some past nominations, even have time to spare without setting a record.

Kim Wehle is clearly correct that the average for nominations is roughly 60 days.  However, the Senate confirmed Justice John Paul Steves in 19 days.  Sandra Day O’Conner was confirmed in 33 days and Ginsburg herself was confirmed in 42 days.  Wehle was expressing doubt that such a short confirmation is possible in this environment and she could be proven correct. However, such speedy confirmations are more common when the Senate is held by the same party as the President.  If Majority Mitch McConnell wants a vote, I do not see how the Democrats can derail it without additional defections from the GOP bench of senators.  The issue is not the hearings but the scheduling the floor vote. However, all things are possible when political stakes are high.

Moreover, most presidents have not waited for the election. This would be the 30th such nomination in an election year.  I have no doubt that if the Democrats controlled the Senate with a Democratic president, they would be moving a nomination forward. Indeed, that was their position in 2016.

There is no question that there is a tsunami of hypocrisy from both parties this week. However, this weekend Chuck Todd exclaimed in disbelief when a Republican senator referred to the “precedent” for such nominations. Todd declared in disbelief “what precedent?!”  The answer is that most presidents have made nominations in election years. Waiting to fill a slot is the exception to that precedent.

Indeed, in 2016,Justice Ginsburg swatted down arguments that a President should wait until after an election.  She stressed that it is the “job” of the Senate to fill such slots and noted “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being the president in his last year.” Likewise, Justice Sonia Sotomayor insisted that the Senate should not leave the Court with just eight members, stating “Eight is not a good number. I think we hope there will be nine [justices] as soon as possible.”

Again, there are good-faith reasons to wait for an election and senators are clearly allowed to vote on that basis. However, if a president nominates before an election, I believe that Senate should give that nominee a vote.  That was my position with Merrick Garland and it is my view today.

357 thoughts on “Yes, The Senate Can Confirm a New Nominee Before The Election”

  1. I do wish that the Senate had voted one way or another on Garland.

    That said, Democrats have said for years that they want to expand the Supreme Court so they can pack it with Liberals. They have openly stated this is their plan, currently. This talk began long before Garland, so using that as the excuse is patently false, but good enough for the unthinking masses.

    If that’s their plan, then it would be even more foolish than usual for Republicans to give up their chance to nominate an originalist judge to the Supreme Court. We need every seat we can get. We need to be faithful to the Constitution and federal law as written, and simply pass more laws or amend the Constitution if the need arises.

    Legislating from the bench defies the balance of power. But as long as it’s Democrats doing it, they are eager to allow it to happen.

      1. Yes, I have read before about how Turley wants to expand the court. There are arguments for increasing the number.

        Do you think Turley would support one President expanding it from 9 to 19 members, and then voting in 10 judges himself or herself?

        The way to expand a court is gradually, over the course of 20 years.

      2. Hey, did you see the video where Don Lemon tells Chris Cuomo that Dems need to win the White House, and Sweep Congress. Expand the Supreme Court and stuff it with Liberals. And then they can get the Constitution amended to do away with the Electoral College.

        That will make most states in the Union have no say whatsoever who gets the White House. I doubt any candidate would ever campaign in Wisconsin again, whereas currently, people know to take Wisconsin for granted is a recipe for disaster.

        Hmnmmm, what would Democrats say about this kind of power grab and the total imbalance of power? Can we say oligarchy?

        1. It already is an open plutocracy and the plutocrats like bloomberg, soros, and bezos are fully behind Democrat party leadership at this point to crush us all into tiny little atoms impotent to resist their power. make no mistake they are enemies of the people and should be dealt with by any means necessary

          it is only not a civil war because “yet”

          Soros though he seems a vampire will die one day and Bloomberg will take his evil mantle upon himself. this story proves it. he is an enemy of the American people.

          anyone who defends this rascal and his wicked stunt of enfranchising these petty criminals is a fool or worse. pick sides, we are all being sifted, anyhow

    1. Romney said he would vote. We don’t know if he will regard the nominee in an unbiased way, based on her qualifications, or just vote no to stymie Trump. We’ll wait and see.

    1. Also, shouldn’t it be unethical for the media to allow a presidential candidate to use a teleprompter, or an iPad feeding him answers, during what is supposed to be a one-on-one interview. With actual questions?

      The American people don’t want to know what his handlers think about issues. We want to know what Biden himself thinks about them. If he can’t answer questions all by himself, then he shouldn’t have run for president. Even with advanced age, RBG was sharp as a tack.

      I remember when the Left called Trump mentally ill, had dementia, or was otherwise incompetent. They demanded he take a cognitive test, and then they grilled his personal physician about it. They even made up stories that he had heart trouble.

      Without all the partisanship, there should be a cognition test given to all presidential candidates, and then administered during regular health screenings for the President, Vice President, all members of Congress, SCOTUS, and perhaps other positions, as well. Just as a matter of course. Any failures could be assessed by a medical board. But if there is cognitive decline, it should be required for that person to step down or retire.

      Biden has said at some times that of course he took the test, and at others that of course he did not and will not, “come on, man!” There is no denying that he relies upon TelePrompTers to get through speeches (not so unusual) and interviews (not aware of that ever happening before.) Is he running for President, or are his handlers and Kamala Harris running for president?

      I think they need to figure out what they are going to do.

      1. The American people don’t want to know what his handlers think about issues.

        It’s highly likely the subset of Americans that want to know what Biden thinks about issues directly from Biden, without a teleprompter, are the same subset that want to know if he can think at all. The rest are content to believe the wizard on the screen is the real deal and not a projection of handlers behind the curtain.

  2. Lindsey Graham just announced on Hannity that the Republicans have the votes in the Senate to confirm Trump’s nominee. Must mean Romney is on board. Let the liberal heads explode.

        1. unlike the brain dead Biden, Trump posted his list.

          Why should America not see Biden’s list if he demands we wait?

          1. Princess Trohar Prior to Trump I don’t recall any president or presidential candidate releasing a list of potential Supreme Court nominees prior to a Supreme Court vacancy. Trump’s list was unprecedented. Or am I mistaken?

    1. mess – Romeny said he would vote. Without a nominee announced, we can’t know which way he would vote, unless he has already pre-approved the short list.

      I remember when McCain ran his reelection campaign around removing Obamacare, and even pledged his vote, only to do an about face at the last minute. I wonder how much his horror at what turned out to be false opposition research in the Russia dossier motivated that change of heart.

      I just wouldn’t count my biddies before they hatch. We’ll have to just see how it turns out.

      1. Karen,
        For what it’s worth, here is how Romney said he leans:

        “The Constitution gives the President the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees. Accordingly, I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the President’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications.”

        Speaking to reporters shortly after releasing his statement, Romney said he would look for someone who is “an expert in the law, someone who has a record of fairness and judgment.” He added that he would prefer to see a strict constructionist appointed to the Court.

        “I recognize that we may have a Court which has more of a conservative bent than it has had over the last few decades, but my liberal friends have over many decades gotten very used to the idea of having a liberal court and that’s not written in the stars,” Romney said.

        He added that he believes it is “appropriate” for a “center-right” country to have a Court which reflects center-right points of view and follows the law and the Constitution.
        https://www.nationalreview.com/news/romney-supports-holding-a-vote-on-trumps-scotus-nominee/

  3. MEANWHILE, MORE ELDER ABUSE: Biden says a state school president should sit in the Oval Office.

    Of course Biden has not been a state school president, but he may not know that.

    Somebody should just change his Depends and help him home to a comfy chair with a glass of milk and bag of cookies on the table beside him. And lock the door in case he wanders and gets lost or runs for president or something.

  4. Here’s what the Dems should do but won’t. The main chatter for filling the vacant justice seat immediately is Mail In Ballots and the problems they will definitely bring. So Dems offer to nullify ALL Mail In Ballots and count only in person votes for the coming election for all candidates. No Mail In Ballots in return for the justice seat to be filled only after In Person Votes are counted and a winner declared based only by In Person Votes. Show the nation how fair you are.

    1. What a ludicrous suggestion.

      You’re going to require Trump to fly to FL to vote in person?
      You’re going to require military voters overseas to return to the U.S. to vote in person?
      You’re going to require the states that have exclusively used vote-by-mail for years to set up in-person voting and get poll workers throughout the state in less than 2 months?
      You’re going to require that people choose between putting themselves at risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 or voting?

      1. ComitToDisHonest – Quite frankly I thought you would find it ludicrous but just to show you I’m a good guy and my heart’s in the right place I’ll give you another shot.
        OK, Military can vote by mail in, everyone else In Person. That better? No,
        OK President Trump can vote by mail in. That better? No,
        OK Mitch lets get that nominee in her chair.

        Sorry I gave you a shot, that’s my bottom line. Your dismissed.

        1. I don’t care what your bottom line is.
          Just like you don’t care what mine is.
          “Your [sic] dismissed.”

          1. ComtToDishonest – Oh that stung! You remind me of a guy when I was younger who wanted to hang out with the guys on the corner but every now and then he needed a little Ogni tanto mi basta dargli qualche bel coppino or in short a Daccada.

            By the way are you a guy or a girl? If your a girl, I apologize, if your a guy I still think you need a Dacdada.

          2. Commit– “Your [sic] dismissed.”
            ****
            You are signalling a typo in the comments?

            I suppose you are trying to show you are clever.

            Instead you are displaying your OCD secretarial instincts.

          3. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

            – Albert Einstein
            _____________

            Precisely!!!

            Human stupidity is absolute and it is absolutely stupid to proffer that vote-by-mail is legal.

            The law is:

            “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November.”

            “Election Day is the day (singular) set by law for the general elections of federal public officials,” according to Wikipedia.

            Ballots may not be distributed or executed on any but Election Day which is “…Tuesday the next after the first Monday in the month of November.”

            Tuesday is a day; ONE DAY – not days, plural – nothing more; nothing less – the law is clear.

            A voter must present, be identified, be certified and execute his ballot at a polling place on election day. Period.

            The U.S. Mail requires more than one day to send and return.

            The one and only day on which the presidential election may occur is “…the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November.”
            ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

            “…courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

            “…men…do…what their powers do not authorize, [and] what they forbid.”

            “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

            – Alexander Hamilton

  5. Boom!

    Behind a pay wall, Excerpt follows

    Supreme Court Succession Battle Shows Hypocrisy Is an Enduring Norm

    Try to imagine the reaction of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and their Hallelujah Chorus in the media if a conservative Supreme Court justice had died weeks before the re-election bid of a Democratic president while that party also controlled the Senate.

    See if you can make the statesmanlike words fit the mouths of these stolid custodians of honor, integrity and unswerving principle.

    “It is our solemn duty to set aside our ambition to remake the court and patiently await the outcome of the people’s decision,” says Sen. Schumer, demonstrating once again why he has a glowing reputation for devotion to selfless virtue over ambition and political self-interest.

    “Though we strongly believe this is a matter of the greatest importance for our nation, for life, liberty and the pursuit of our agenda, it would be wrong to fill this vacancy with just a few months left of this presidency,” says Speaker Pelosi, emerging perfectly coiffed from a locked-down hair salon to denounce hypocrisy and double-standards in politics.

    “Fiat justitia, ruat caelum,” declaims a tearful Don Lemon on CNN, explaining to his less erudite fellow commentators that justice must be done, rules observed, whatever the lost political advantage.

    The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the vacancy it has produced on the Supreme Court have produced a now familiar word spray on the importance of norms and the scourge of hypocrisy in the nation’s politics.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-succession-battle-shows-hypocrisy-is-an-enduring-norm-11600729816

    1. yes suddenly those who have encouraged lawless riot and chaos and looting and arson care about rules and norms.
      not ours but theirs; we are victims of their criminal intimidation on a nationwide scale
      and still suffering in parts of the USA under ineffective quarantine rules that are destroying the economy
      they threw norms and rules on the dungheap months ago

      the rule and norm that should be applied to them is how we deal with racketeers, per our rules and norms of law

  6. Meanwhile, in other news:

    Michael Crowley (NYT WH correspondent): “I asked President Trump at the WH who he thinks poisoned Alexei Navalny. After an extended ‘uhhh,’ he replied: ‘We’ll talk about that at another time.'” (The question from Crowley: “Who do you think poisoned Alexey Navalny in Russia?” video of the question and response here: https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1308143119762939905)

    Greg Miller (National security correspondent for the Post):
    “President Trump doesn’t hesitate to accuse perceived adversaries of crimes – including Clinton, Mueller & Obama. But case of gruesome Russian poisoning apparently requires more deliberation.”

    Trump’s been asked about this before and refuses to condemn the poisoning by Russia. Trump is still in Russia’s pocket. Russia is again interfering in our election, and Trump won’t call them out on it, much less do anything about it. He wants their help.

    1. A very common ploy. If your losing the argument change the subject. The good old debunked Russia story has always been good for a new twist.

      1. I haven’t lost any arguments. See my exchanges below. And Russia poisoning Navalny isn’t “debunked.” You can read plenty of international reporting about it (from Germany, where he’s being treated after being flown there from Russia; from the BBC, etc.)

        1. right the bbc. just as credible as RT some days

          let me point something out genius. every NATO country has and can synthesize enough Novichok to kill or poison somebody
          the mere medical fact that a person has been exposed to it, DOES NOT PROVE WHO DID IT

          I don’t know about Navalny, but I suspect Skripal was a false flag poisoning by the British who blamed it on Russia

          Putin could have just executed him or whacked him, same thing Navalny

          you maybe never heard of a false flag or lack the imagination to understand how they work

          there’s a lot of examples in history but here’s one that is less familiar

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2522115.stm

          “britain bombed itself to fool nazis”

          1. In mindless defense of his mindless hero, Kurtz comes out for Putin and not the representative democracies that are our natural allies. This only makes sense to Trump cultists and/or white supremacists, who also back him.

  7. FDR could not get the power that he wanted so he packed the court. A Supreme Court justice dies, not even layed to rest and the Democrats are calling for packing the court to get the power they want to control their kingdom. They cloak their action in a moralistic call to fairness. I guess the fairness extolled by their hero Justice Ginsburg (Presidents right to appoint in an election year) is held in little regard when found to be politicly inexpedient.

    1. Thinkitthrough — Jonathan Turley is in favor of a 19 member Supreme Court. I agree although 17 would also suffice to avoid this sort of squabble.

      1. David Benson-Why not 21 justices? Why not 27? How about two justices from each state. The Republicans have the Presidency and the Senate but have made no attempt to pack the court. What party is more obsessed with power? Its cry baby change the rules if you don’t get your way.

        1. Thinkitthrough — Neither 21 nor 27 are prime. Besides, the taxpayers have to pay all the salaries, including the law clerks.

          Learn the history of the size of the Supreme Court.

          But then, ignorance is bliss, is it not?

    2. Trump will need a 6-3 majority court when the Socialist Democrats contest the election no matter what the popular count is.

  8. Once again the truth, not facts crowd is getting trumped by facts:

    The bottom line: If a president and the Senate agree on a Supreme Court nominee, timing has never stopped them. By tradition, only when the voters have elected a president and a Senate majority from different parties has the fact of a looming presidential election mattered. When there is no dispute between the branches, there is no need to ask the voters to resolve one.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/08/history-is-on-the-side-of-republicans-filling-a-supreme-court-vacancy-in-2020/

    1. Who says there was a “dispute between the branches” regarding Garland? Mitch McConnell is not a branch of the government. If anything, McConnell declining to hold a vote suggests he was concerned there would NOT be a major dispute and Garland would have been confirmed by a majority of senators.

      1. Biden was right in ’92: when the Presidency and the Senate are not held by the same party, it makes no sense for the Senate to consider a Supreme Court nomination from the President during an election year because we all know that the nominee doesn’t stand a chance and all we do is create political rancor. Simple.

        1. “Biden was right in ’92: when the Presidency and the Senate are not held by the same party, it makes no sense for the Senate to consider a Supreme Court nomination from the President during an election year because we all know that the nominee doesn’t stand a chance and all we do is create political rancor”

          That isn’t what Biden said.
          Which is why you aren’t quoting him.
          If you want to make that argument, OK, but don’t lie and pretend that it’s Biden’s.

      2. Who says there was a “dispute between the branches” regarding Garland?

        So the Executive branch had no dispute with the Senate Majority leader regarding Garland?

        1. There was a dispute between the Executive and the individual who was the Majority Leader. Perhaps you are not aware that while Majority Leaders have certain parliamentary powers, they are not some sort of Super Senator who dictates to the rest of their party. I’m afraid you may be a hopeless partisan-puritan who demands their party be in 100% lockstep at all times. Sad.

          Why hold confirmation votes, or any vote at all if the Majority Leader dictates everything?

          1. I’m afraid you may be a hopeless partisan-puritan who demands their party be in 100% lockstep at all times. Sad.

            Being registered Independent does make me a hopelessly partisan-puritan regarding the constitution. I took an oath and I’ve never been relieved of that duty. We wouldn’t even be having this discussion had the Senate Democrats not gotten greedy and give a Republican majority an opening they were warned not to create.

            Why hold confirmation votes, or any vote at all if the Majority Leader dictates everything?

            You can look up the rules of the Senate and learn what the Majority Leader can and cannot do. Let me know if he’s violated the constitution. If not, then your beef is with the a$$hats that changed the rules.

            1. If you’ve been following along, my beef was with the rationalization that there was a “dispute between the branches”. Mitch should have held a vote before declaring an impasse. McConnell knew Garland would likely be confirmed by the senate at large (the opposite of a dispute). I suspect you know that, too. You can approve of Mitch’s inaction, but don’t pretend there was ever a principle involved; it makes you look like rube. This is CONGRESS we’re talking about.

              1. but don’t pretend there was ever a principle involved; it makes you look like rube.

                It takes rubes to reference principles they burned, pissed upon and kicked to the sewer lines decades ago. Cue Julie London

              2. McConnell knew Garland would likely be confirmed by the senate at large

                “Likely”? Who are your 4+ defectors? And before you answer that recall Elena Kagan got five defections. One was an occasional dissident who was retiring. Another was an occasional dissident who got bounced in a primary the next time he was up. Another was held to 55% of the GOP primary vote against a field of obscure candidates. The other two were the Maine ladies. Well, in 2016, you had two senators retiring, neither of whom had a history of dissent. Who are your dissenters?

                1. Susan Collins? still there
                2. Mark Kirk? possibly. Wasn’t there for Kagan. NB attracted a primary challenger in 2018
                3. Lisa Murkowski? voted no on Kagan
                4. Kelly Ayotte? wasn’t there for Kagan. There was a constituency in the New Hampshire Republican Party quite skeptical of her and willing to primary.

                1. If Mitch had the votes, why the games?

                  You almost seem ignorant of the fact that Merrick Garland and Elena Kagan are different individuals who would be confirmed or rejected on their own merits. Strange since you are the blog’s resident biographer.

                  1. If Mitch had the votes, why the games?

                    No almost about it; you do seem ignorant of the fact that Reid changed the rules of the game because he didn’t have the votes. Did you oppose Reid changing the rules? I know I did.

                    1. Why did you bother to quote me and reply with a non sequitur instead answering the question? If Mitch had the votes, why not hold a vote?

                      For the record, I did think changing the rule was a bad idea. I’m not sure why it matters to my point that Mitch is not a branch of government.

                      Try to focus.

                  2. You almost seem ignorant of the fact that Merrick Garland and Elena Kagan are different individuals who would be confirmed or rejected on their own merits. Strange since you are the blog’s resident biographer.

                    Any Democratic appointee will have some salient defects. The same defects. The last Democratic appointee who went off-script on consequential issues was appointed to the court in 1962.

                  3. LOL more linguistic games of contextual shifting and reframing from the trolls who come on here and carry on with the Democrat leadership’s daily talking points blather.

                    fencing with dogs is stooping to conquer

                    there are no issues anymore besides this:

                    LAW AND ORDER AND BACK TO WORK = VOTE TRUMP

                    RIOTS AND LOCKDOWNS TO INFINITY = VOTE DEMENTED JOE

    2. I’m certainly not getting “trumped by facts.”

      I haven’t suggested that nominees shouldn’t get a vote in an election year.

      What I’ve pointed out is that McConnell refused to allow a vote on Garland, and THAT is atypical.

      McConnell’s choice with Merrick Garland was an act of cowardice: Republican Senators were afraid of having to publicly vote on Garland and be held accountable for their votes in the upcoming election.

      It’s not nearly as common for the Senate to allow a nomination to lapse (which is what occurred with Garland) as it is for the Senate to reject or confirm the nominee in a vote. And McConnell was afraid that Garland wouldn’t be rejected in a vote. McConnell was afraid of putting Republican Senators in the position of actually having to make a choice. He was afraid of defections, and he was also afraid that some of those who’d choose to vote against Garland and were up for reelection might then lose.

      And the reason that he and other Republicans are looking like hypocrites now is because they weren’t honest about what was going on at the time. No surprise, lots of politicians aren’t hones, and that’s not limited to Republicans. But it’s then also not a surprise when they’re called out for their dishonest and hypocrisy.

      “When there is no dispute between the branches, there is no need to ask the voters to resolve one.”

      There’s never a “need” to ask voters to resolve anything. It’s a choice, not a “need.” There are all sorts of disputes between the branches that aren’t resolved by voters.

      1. Republican Senators were afraid of having to publicly vote on Garland and be held accountable for their votes in the upcoming election…There are all sorts of disputes between the branches that aren’t resolved by voters.

        Afraid? Apparently not. It was a dispute that didn’t need to be resolved by voters. And how did they respond to that decision in the general election? They elected Trump and Republicans maintained control of the Senate. Your move.

        1. “It was a dispute that didn’t need to be resolved by voters.”

          What does the pronoun “It” refer to in your sentence? The referent isn’t clear.

            1. I never suggested that “the Senate had a constitutional obligation to hold a hearing on the Garland nomination and a vote.” I said that “McConnell was afraid of putting Republican Senators in the position of actually having to make a choice. He was afraid of defections, and he was also afraid that some of those who’d choose to vote against Garland and were up for reelection might then lose.”

              They didn’t have a constitutional obligation, so McConnell let his cowardice dictate his response.

              1. I never suggested that “the Senate had a constitutional obligation to hold a hearing on the Garland nomination and a vote.”

                Then your argument is void on its face. Cowardice? McConnell made a bold calculation that voters would decide what President they wanted to nominate to fill that vacancy and the Senate majority to confirm. He risked getting Clinton and the minority.

                As a boxer, Harry Reid should have paid attention to Mike Tyson’s philosophy: Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.

                1. “Then your argument is void on its face.”

                  LOL. My argument doesn’t rest on a claim that “the Senate had a constitutional obligation to hold a hearing on the Garland nomination and a vote.” If you think it does, you clearly don’t understand my actual argument. I invite you to quote the part of my actual argument that you think does rest on a claim that “the Senate had a constitutional obligation to hold a hearing on the Garland nomination and a vote.”

                  “He risked getting Clinton and the minority.”

                  That was a risk either way. Note that McConnell took other acts to help Trump and the Republicans on that end, such as refusing to make a bipartisan announcement about the Russian election interference. And as I noted, his refusal to hold a confirmation vote was part of an effort to keep the GOP majority in the Senate.

        2. 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.” (source)

          Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas):

          “I believe the American people deserve to have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice, and the best way to ensure that happens is to have the Senate consider a nomination made by the next President.

          ISen. 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.” (source)

          Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.): “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” (This was actually what he said in 2018, doubling down on his previous stance. )

          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 .” (source)

          Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.): “It makes the current presidential election all that more important as not only are the next four years in play, but an entire generation of Americans will be impacted by the balance of the court and its rulings. I will oppose this nomination as I firmly believe we must let the people decide the Supreme Court’s future.” (source)

          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.” (source)

          Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa): “We will see what the people say this fall and our next president, regardless of party, will be making that nomination.” (source)

          Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.): “Vice President Biden’s remarks may have been voiced in 1992, but they are entirely applicable to 2016. 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.” (source)

          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.” (source)

          Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.): “The next President must nominate successor that upholds constitution, founding principles.”

          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.” (source)

          Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.): “The next Court appointment should be made by the newly-elected president.” (source)

          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.” (source)

          Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.): “The Senate should not confirm a new Supreme Court justice until we have a new president.”

          Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.): “There is 80 years of precedent for not nominating and confirming a new justice of the Supreme Court in the final year of a president’s term so that people can have a say in this very important decision.” (source)

          1. You seem to put a lot of stock in politics and not the law. Short-term political thinking got us the nuclear option and that was always going to be something a minority party would regret. Here are some other quotes you may have overlooked:

            Republicans said the way Democrats upended the rules will result in fallout for years. “It’s another raw exercise of political power to permit the majority to do anything it wants whenever it wants to do it,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the GOP’s parliamentary expert, told reporters.

            Republicans vowed to reciprocate if they reclaim the majority.

            “Democrats won’t be in power in perpetuity,” said Sen. Richard C. Shelby (Ala.), a 27-year member. “This is a mistake — a big one for the long run. Maybe not for the short run. Short-term gains, but I think it changes the Senate tremendously in a bad way.”

            Clearly Democrats went all in, betting they would be able to exercise that power in perpetuity. They lost that bet (for now) and are dumbfounded to find themselves constitutionally weak and pathetically begging for political restraint. They’ll get restraint by confirming constitutionalists and not activists.

      2. You’re the only poster here getting a boner from your own posts. Please stop self-flagellating in public view.

        1. To commit or whoever is the progressive poster N of my post, moaning about McConnell’s hypocrisy. (in case not clear to whom I address)

    3. Democrats have used every “arrow in their quiver”, to coin Nancy Pelosi, to fight Trump, from packing pork and non sequiturs into stimulus bills to ensure it does not pass before the election, delaying votes, employing the Nuclear Option to shove through federal nominations and justices, and even claiming for years they will increase the number of Supreme Court justifies in order to stuff the SCOTUS at their first opportunity. Each side has labeled the other “obstructionist” so many times over the years. With the scorched earth and salted fields tactics of promoting opposition research as the Russia hoax that culminated in an impeachment attempt, ignoring Biden’s quid pro quo, and constantly labeling Trump and Republicans Nazis, Fascists, anti-semites, and otherwise evil names, I really don’t see much will to work across the aisle. Until that tenor changes, the parties are at war. Perhaps it will end in a civil war. If the riots and looting, and anti-taxpayer and business policies that plague Democrat states were to spread nationwide, I imagine there is a limit to what the American people will endure.

      Remember that whole “resist Trump” rhetoric? It works both ways.

      People need to stop and think a moment. Do they think that Democrats would not have used an arrow in their quiver to refuse to vote on a Republican nominee when they held the Senate, in this day and age, or that they would similarly abstain from confirming a Democrat replacement for RBG’s vacancy?

      I have repeatedly asked these questions to my Democrat friends, and only heard silence.

      Democrats have completely glossed over the long history of the Supreme Court process, and just called it unfair. They even ignore RBG’s own opinion, that the Senate should have done its job and voted because the president is not voted in for 3 years, but 4. The Pavlovian mob takes it up and repeats it unchallenged. This might prove a winning strategy in the election. Who knows.

      I think the Senate should have voted yeah or nay on Garland. But it was their legal right not to do so.

      1. Perhaps it will end in a civil war.

        Karen,
        We are already in a civil war. We have been for decades. The battles had been for the most part peacefully waged by two political parties over ideological differences in how we should be governed to move our country towards that more perfect vision. The undercurrent of radicalism has always been there, but it was always checked by moderates in each party. Or so they thought. They didn’t feel it’s affects on our educational system until it was too late. The age of the internet and social media have given the radicals a platform to wage a disinformation war against the established order. And this has enabled radicals to get their foot in the door at every level of government. It’s now a tidal wave that has swept up the Democratic party and left Republicans hanging on by their fingernails. This SCOTUS issue is a huge battle in this war. This election is another. But rest assured, regardless of how both turn out, this war will get a lot hotter.

  9. JT:

    Indeed, in 2016,Justice Ginsburg swatted down arguments that a President should wait until after an election. She stressed that it is the “job” of the Senate to fill such slots and noted “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being the president in his last year.” Likewise, Justice Sonia Sotomayor insisted that the Senate should not leave the Court with just eight members, stating “Eight is not a good number. I think we hope there will be nine [justices] as soon as possible.”

    me: Sorry, lefty nut jobs. Sorry, not sorry. 🙂

    1. OK, righty nut job: WHAT ABOUT THE POSITION TAKEN BY REPUBLICANS IN 2016, AND THEIR COMPLETE REVERSAL IN 2020? Address that, please.

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