February 14, 2016 by David K. Sutton
Supreme Court: McConnell Vows No Senate Confirmation For Obama Nominee
Only an hour after news broke of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, with no time to wait for the body to cool, said, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” Somewhere in that thought process McConnell forgot the people already spoke when they elected Barack Obama to a second term. There is always a potential for a Supreme Court nominee in every presidential term. Of course during the 2012 election, this was not a hot topic, but this is at least in-part why we choose a president, knowing there could be a vacancy on the high court.
But, don’t let McConnell’s concern for the “American people” distract you from what is really going on here. In a possibly unprecedented move, a Senate leader is saying a sitting president should not exercise his constitutional duty in nominating a Supreme Court justice. And McConnell’s words have nothing to do with respect for the people. No, McConnell is just playing politics as usual. McConnell hopes a Republican wins the presidential campaign, at which point, we will see just how much concern McConnell has for the “American people.” And he obviously has little concern leaving the high court short one justice for nearly an entire year, disregarding the constitution and the “American people” it represents.
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s thoughts on the topic should end the debate, but of course we know better.
I’m sure a lot of average everyday (non-beltway) Republicans will be fine with McConnell’s vow not to confirm an Obama nominee, but if they are being truthful, they will acknowledge it is wrong from a constitutional perspective. After all, if you are being true to the spirit of the constitution and the process of government, then you know a nominee should be judged on his or her merits, not on partisan hackery. It shouldn’t matter that President Obama nominated the candidate, it should matter if the candidate is qualified to do the job. But, that makes too much sense, and this is Washington D.C., a place where things rarely make sense.