I wrote last week
about the Republican response to the death of SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia. There were intimations that they wouldn't even allow a debate or vote on any
candidate put forward by President Obama. It appears they are serious about this threat
Some senior Senate Republicans on Tuesday moved to slam the door shut on any Supreme Court nomination President Barack Obama will make as they voiced opposition to even committee hearings on a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
"That's the consensus view. ... No hearing, no vote," Senate Judiciary Committee member Lindsey Graham told reporters after leaving a private meeting of the panel's Republicans with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Separately, Senator John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican behind McConnell, said, "Correct," when asked by Reuters whether the path forward on any Obama nominee would be to deny that person a committee hearing.
They are trying to make the claim that the American People need to have a say in who the next justice will be by their votes in the November presidential election. I am waiting for at least ONE news reporter to ask them "Didn't the American people have their say by voting President Obama in for a second term? Didn't they do so knowing he might be called upon to put another justice onto the court?"
There are others saying the Democrats did the "same thing" back in the last year of President Reagan's second term. They are - of course - being disingenuous at best, or completely and deliberately untruthful about what actually happened at worst.
They are referring to the nomination of Robert Bork. Bork's first brush with infamy came during the Nixon administration during the investigation into Nixon's wrongdoing. Archibald Cox was a special prosecutor assigned to investigate Nixon. In a brazen attempt to circumvent justice, Nixon demanded that then-Attorney General Elliot Richardson fire Cox. Richardson resigned in protest. Nixon then asked Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to do the firing. He too resigned in protest. Bork as Solicitor General was 3rd in line, and complied with Nixon's request, firing Cox, and getting promoted to Attorney General. This became known as the Saturday Night Massacre
It was this same Bork that Reagan put forth as a candidate. There were initial reactions of disgust and Bork's neanderthal views on women's rights were a primary target. There were plenty, though, that still remembered his pliant and self-serving approach to law and justice.
Regardless of desires to withhold an "up or down" vote, Bork was indeed voted on by the entire Senate
, and was voted down. Reagan's next attempt (Douglas Ginsberg) ended up withdrawing himself
when it was disclosed he had tried pot at some point in his life.
Finally, Reagan put forth Anthony Kennedy as a candidate in November of 1987, and he was voted on and confirmed in February of 1988, which was an election year, and as well as Reagan's last year of office. Kennedy is still serving as a Supreme Court justice. All investigations, debates, etc. took all of 3 months.
If President Obama nominated a candidate today, 3 months hence would be near the end of May. That is very doable, and were the "leadership" in the Senate not so blatantly partisan, this would be a breeze to complete so they could focus on their reelection campaigns.
But they are much more transparent than that. They do not want to have to explain their votes on highly-qualified judicial nominees. Either they think they will hold onto the Senate and one of the Republican clown-car candidates will win the White House, or they know
they are going to lose both, and figure that they can vote against the SCOTUS candidate next year, and they won't be "blamed" when that person gets confirmed.
Or maybe they think the possibility of a Dem picking the next SCOTUS justice will get Republican voters out to the polls when they would be otherwise inclined to sit it out because of the crappy candidate they'll end up with.
Whatever their losing strategy is, it is just that - an obvious ploy where they are trying to make up rules to hide their partisan fuckery. They should know by now that when they try to play games with President Obama, they always lose, and look like idiots in the process. That this is playing out while one of our branches of government (perhaps the most important one) tries to operate shorthanded shows how little the Republicans actually respect our government and their role in it. THAT is something the voters should take note of in November.