The Left's Hypocrisy on Supreme Court Nominations
Democrats have been accusing President Trump and Mitch McConnell of smashing norms. This is their common refrain anytime they find themselves on the losing end of any contested issue. However, this is yet another example of liberal projection and hypocrisy. It is the Democrats who have been at the forefront of breaking rules and norms. The Republicans are just playing tough in the game that Democrats created. The Left has been playing politics with courts since time immemorial and continue to threaten the integrity of the judicial system if they win the elections in November.
Supreme Court Manipulations Started with FDR in the 1930s
Democrats have accused McConnell of playing games with the Supreme Court. However, you need to go back through history to look at the previous threats to the integrity of both the Supreme Court and lower courts. Of course, we will not go all the way back to Marbury v. Madison, we will look back to detail the Democrats' view of the Supreme Court. Of course, it all started with the court packing plan of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat. Frustrated with the constitutional checks that the Court was placing on the overreach of the New Deal, Roosevelt tried to pack the court before he was stopped.
Fast forward a half century to the nomination of Robert Bork. Ordinarily, the President would be entitled to nominate individuals. The Senate largely would reject those nominees if they were unqualified or perhaps had a criminal background. However, Democrats blocked a perfectly qualified judge because they disagreed with him on ideological grounds.
Harry Reid put the final nail in the coffin of comity when it comes to nominations when he nuked the Senate rule that required 60 votes to reach cloture for a vote on judges. Even putting aside the circus that the Democrats put Brett Kavanaugh through in 2018, the Left have done enough harm to break the judicial confirmation process that McConnell is clearly excused for playing hardball. He is merely working within the system that he was given that the Democrats created.
When faced with the possibility that the Senate will be discharging their constitutional duty to advise and consent to President Trump's duly nominated judge, the Democrats respond with yet another threat to change the rules. The threats to revoke the legislative filibuster and add judges to both lower courts and the Supreme Court underscore the need for McConnell to do whatever he can to ensure another Republican-appointed judge on the Court.
Court Nominees in an Election Year Are Far from Assured in Most Cases
Democrats are still complaining about the fact that the Senate did not act on the Merrick Garland nomination in 2016. However, there is a long history of the fact that a president has not had a nominee confirmed in an election year when the Senate is controlled by the other party. Democrats act as if McConnell pulled this rule out of a hat to maximize GOP power. He did not. In fact, this was Joe Biden's own rule. The difference this year is that the Republicans control both the White House and Senate. Yet, the Democrats are threatening to change what they do not like if they seize power again.
The numbers support the fact that the party that controls both the White House and Senate generally is able to confirm their nominees. This has happened 17 out of 19 times in election years. One of the only exceptions was when Lyndon Johnson nominated the highly suspect Abe Fortas for the Court in 1968 after he had already announced that he would not be running for reelection.
This makes it all the more important to hold a confirmation vote on President Trump's forthcoming nominee before the election. If Trump does lose, the Democrats will not hesitate to dictate the future rules to a powerless Republican minority. This is what Reid and Barack Obama conspired to do before the 2014 elections when the Republicans took back the Senate.
At the very worst, the Democrats are equal players when it comes to smashing norms or talking about breaking them. They clearly are not the victims that they portray themselves to be as McConnell is only doing what is fair. While they are crying a river to try to motivate and raise money from their base, they certainly must understand the way that politics work because they wrote the book.
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