Justice Kennedy’s retirement triggered a meltdown among Dems who want only one thing, to block his replacement’s appointment until they take the White House or the Senate. There’s a lot of screaming about “vengeance for Merrick Garland”.
1. The Garland nomination was a sham. Hillary Clinton made it clear that she wouldn’t nominate him.
2. Blocking a nomination at the end of the term is the Biden rule. No presidential term is ending here.
3. In both cases, Republicans are being replaced by Republicans. Kennedy was just a particularly flaky swing vote. Dems aren’t entitled to either seat. And it’s not as if Ruth Bader Ginsburg is even being replaced.
But the base wants blood. So #Resistance.
The Dems are highly unlikely to take the Senate barring some incredible disasters. Trying to keep a Supreme Court seat open for enough years to replace Trump might be a bit much. But, despite all the Garland rhetoric, they’ve denied a vote on Federal nominees for longer than that.
But when Obama voted against Judge Priscilla Owen, despite her highest rating, Democrats had blocked her nomination for four years. That’s an entire presidential term. Owen was nominated by Bush in his first year in office. Despite being a moderate, Owen only got a full Senate vote during Bush’s second term. Obama had fought to filibuster hereven though Owen was generally considered a moderate.
Obama filibustered Judge William Pryor, who had replaced Judge William Steele, who had never even gotten a hearing as part of a process that also took four years from first nomination to confirmation.
Bush had nominated Judge Pickering in ’01 and he was blocked in committee, falsely smeared as a racist and then filibustered by Senate Democrats to deny him the “up and down vote” that they are now busy clamoring for. After three years, Pickering gave up and was replaced by Wallace, who was also blocked by Senate Democrats for a year and denied a vote. Six years later, Bush was still trying with Judge Southwick who had served in Iraq. He was also denied an “up and down” vote until the end of 2007.
Senator Obama fought Judge Southwick’s nomination insisting on the need for a “consensus candidate” and claimed that his nomination would “threaten the very basis of our freedom and democracy.”
And only Obama was supposed to be allowed to do that.
By the time Senate Democrats finally approved a Bush nominee, a presidential term and a half had passed.
The flip side though is that the patience level for such Dem shenanigans have long since expired. The base won’t tolerate it. Neither will Trump.
So that means the Dems will have to throw everything they have at a Trump nominee with the aim of destroying him.
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