Remember when Justice Antonin Scalia died? President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace him on the Supreme Court. The Republican controlled Senate said that wasn’t fair. They said that we should wait for the Presidential election so the people’s choice would be the once choosing that replacement.
They claimed that by electing the next President, the American people would have a voice in who would be nominated and sit on the Supreme court. That was best said by Senator Burr from North Carolina. He said:
The American people deserve a voice in the nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice. This appointment could easily tip the balance of the court in a direction not supported by the American people as evidenced by 2014’s election results giving Republicans both the Senate and House.
So, according to Senator Burr then, if the American People elect a democrat as President, there is no reason to not advise and consent the nominee. If Republican is elected President, there is no reason to not advise and consent the nominee.
Only something funny happened on the say to the Forum. Suddenly, Republicans are not so sure about filling the vacancy if Hillary Clinton is elected President. They are saying that they would leave the vacancy open for the entirety of her term or terms.
On Monday Burr said: “If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court,” Gee Senator Burr. What happened to the American people having a voice in the selection through their vote for President?
Burr is not alone in this lie either. Ted Cruz is perfectly happy to leave the vacancy open indefinitely. He doesn’t care if the court actually goes away either. When Garland was nominated he said:
I proudly stand with my Republican colleagues in our shared belief ― our advice and consent ― that we should not vote on any nominee until the next president is sworn into office. The People will decide. I commend Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley for holding the line and ensuring that We the People get to exercise our authority to decide the direction of the Supreme Court and the Bill of Rights.
Now he says if Clinton is elected the vacancy should not be filled. Even Senator McCain has changed his mind on the issue. Back in March he said:
This issue is not about any single nominee ― it’s about the integrity of the Court. With less than a year left in a lame-duck presidency and the long-term ideological balance of the Supreme Court at stake, I believe the American people must have a voice in the direction of the Supreme Court by electing a new president.” (Emphasis is mine.)
But, recently he pledged to block any nominee from a President Clinton. So, John McCain is more interested in a single nominee and not about the integrity of the Court. As with his twisted Republican Senator colleagues he is attempting to politicize the Court and not fill it with qualified jurists.
In 2005 Senator Burr said something proves this backtracking is all politics and not in the interest of the country. He said:
If we are not able to produce a Justice out of this fine Hall, then they will meet with eight Justices. I have to believe there is an odd number of Justices for a very logical reason. It was so there would not be a tie. On a 4-to-4 tie, what happens? Seldom have we asked the question. On a 4-to-4 tie in the Supreme Court, the lower court’s decision stands. That means all of a sudden the Supreme Court, our highest court, the Court we look to to be the best and brightest to interpret law and the Constitution, is insignificant in the process.
It is obvious that either Burr did not mean what he said in 2005 or he is willing to give up all integrity for political reasons. There is nothing new about Republicans lying to the American people. But, this is a case where their lie is in plain sight and should be considered when voting for your Senator.
The Senate is called the “higher chamber” for a reason. With six year terms we expect more from our Senators. They are supposed to be the voice of reason in our democracy. In the House, it is easy to fall into chaos due to the large number of Representatives. In the Senate, we expect more thoughtful processes.
It is remarkable that these Senators actually want us to vote to send them to the Senate so they can not do their job. How is it possible that is even a possibility or plan for success?
When Republicans said they wanted to wait to see who would the American people choose as their President, they were lying. They weren’t waiting to see what the people wanted. They were hoping they would win and have their way.
Now that it is a real possibility that they will lose the Presidency, they are showing their true colors and their lies are exposed for all to see. They need to be voted out for real integrity to return to the chamber.
The real status quo in Washington politics is obstructionism and bare-faced lying from the Republicans. If you really believe this is an election of “change” then you must vote the Republicans out of both houses of Congress. That is how you break the status quo.