Diary

Democrisy! It's not just for politicians anymore!

Thanks to William Teach of The Pirate’s Cove, I found this editorial in The New York Times:

The Supreme Court After Justice Scalia

By The Editorial Board | February 14, 2016

When Antonin Scalia was named by President Ronald Reagan to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court in 1986, the Senate considered the nomination for 85 days, then voted to confirm him. The tally was 98-0.

That unanimity was by no means a measure of widespread agreement with Justice Scalia’s judicial philosophy. Rather it was the Senate’s customary acknowledgment — at least until recently — that the president had fulfilled his constitutional duty and selected a clearly qualified person for the post.

Thirty years later, and within hours of the news that Justice Scalia had died, Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, rejected that practice outright. It would not matter if President Obama nominated the ghost of Ronald Reagan himself, they appeared to suggest — there will be no confirmation hearings until Mr. Obama has packed his bags and moved out of the White House. Mr. Obama promptly replied that he planned to send a nomination to Congress shortly.

Like so many others on the left, the editors are simply aghast that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled that whomever President Obama nominates will simply not receive a confirmation vote. The Republicans do not have the power to stop the President from nominating a candidate, but they certainly have the power to either reject such a nominee, or decline to even vote on him.

The latter course is exactly what the Democrats did under then Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), when Mr Daschle simply declined to bring up certain nominees whom he believed would not meet a sixty-vote threshold, a nominee who his members could not filibuster. Oddly enough, when I searched, I was unable to find any editorials from the Times denouncing Mr Daschle’s practice on that.¹

The editors concluded:

The question now is whether this Senate will weigh any of these candidates on the merits, or whether as its leaders suggest, it will use every trick in the book to deny Mr. Obama his choice. The latest Republican talking point is that for 80 years it has been “standard practice” not to confirm any Supreme Court nominee in an election year. Besides being untrue — Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed by a Democratic Senate in 1988 — the claim actually insults Justice Scalia, whose originalist, text-based approach to the Constitution would surely have found room for one of a president’s explicit constitutional obligations.

Senators are free to vote yes or no on any nominee. But not to vote at all is an enormous insult and grave disservice to millions of Americans awaiting justice.

The hypocrisy from the left is astounding. We have previously noted that President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Kerry and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton all voted against allowing a floor vote on the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court when they were senators in 2006. We have pointed out how Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated, in 2007, that the Senate should not confirm any more of President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees, regardless of whom they might be, except under extraordinary circumstances. Senator Schumer voted against allowing a vote on Senator Alito. And it has been noted that Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who has said it would be a “dereliction of duty” for the Senate not to vote on whomever the President nominates, also voted against allowing a vote on Judge Alito’s nomination.

But it isn’t just the Democrats in Congress and the Administration who are being hypocritical; the editors of the Times are as well! The New York Times editorial, January 26, 2006, on the confirmation of Samuel Alito concluded:

Senate Democrats, who presented a united front against the nomination of Judge Alito in the Judiciary Committee, seem unwilling to risk the public criticism that might come with a filibuster — particularly since there is very little chance it would work. Judge Alito’s supporters would almost certainly be able to muster the 60 senators necessary to put the nomination to a final vote.

A filibuster is a radical tool. It’s easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.

The editors called for the rejection of a clearly qualified jurist, and approved the use of a filibuster to stop a confirmation vote. They also said it was a matter of principle:

It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public’s attention to the import of this nomination.

Conservatives, of course, are not allowed to have principles, at least not according to the editors of the Times. The editors now believe that:

Senators are free to vote yes or no on any nominee. But not to vote at all is an enormous insult and grave disservice to millions of Americans awaiting justice.

But they were perfectly willing to sanction the denial of a vote on the confirmation of Justice Alito.

I call it Democrisy. The left are perfectly willing to say that President Obama’s forthcoming nominee should receive a vote, but were dead set against a vote when Judge Alito had been nominated.

It doesn’t matter from whom you hear on the left, saying that a nominee should have a vote: they are all hypocritical scumbags.
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Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.
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¹ – The possibility exists that there was such an editorial, and I simply did not find it.