Since Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely death on Saturday, Democrats from the president on down have been accusing Republicans of playing petty politics when it comes to filling the vacancy on the high court.
The main target of the Dems’ j’accuse was Senate Majority Leader [score]Mitch McConnell[/score], who wasted no time Saturday, announcing roughly an hour after Scalia’s death that the Senate would entertain no vote on his replacement until a new president had elected.
Almost as quickly, liberal websites lit up with righteous indignation. In a column published late Saturday, Burgess Everett and Glenn Thrush of Politico harrumphed that “there is no precedent for a sitting president to hand over his power of high-court appointment at the request of any member of the legislative branch.”
Historically, many Supreme Court nominations made in a President’s final year in office are rejected by the Senate. That started with John Quincy Adams and last occurred to Lyndon B. Johnson.
Who’s right will be a subject of hot debate in numerous articles to come in popular and scholarly venues. For now it’s hard not to notice the irony of the claims being made by Democratic senators like [score]Charles Schumer[/score], who said yesterday on ABC’s “This Week”:
This kind of obstructionism isn’t going to last. And, you know, we Democrats didn’t do this.
Really? Grabien has a clip of the same Sen. Schumer in 2007, saying this at the American Constitution Society convention in Washington:
We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances….
We should reverse the presumption of confirmation. The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.