13 March 2016

SUPREME DENIAL

Sure, the Supreme Court isn't meant to be political... but politics has been at the core of the Republican Senate's every anti-Obama move for years. Enough is enough.

The Republicans lost control of the Supreme Court the day Justice Scalia died. It's true. The balance of the Court was forever shifted the moment he passed away inside that hunting lodge in Texas.

The conservative movement has been in denial about it ever since, of course. But, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) knew immediately, which is why he so quickly spoke out - Scalia's body still warm - to try and muddy the obvious next move. That next move, as any American citizen understands, is for the sitting president to nominate a successor and for the U.S. Senate to advise and consent through a hearing and vote.

In the weeks since the death of Justice Scalia, the GOP have been nearly intransigent (big surprise) in opposing even the possibility of giving the president's future nominee a hearing. They've tried every excuse short of "our dog will eat the nomination." 

However, it is one bogus excuse they're using, in particular, that must be addressed.

It's happened a few times over the last few weeks. And, this weekend, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) also tried to claim that their Supreme Court obstruction is payback for the Democrats (in the majority at the time) invoking the "nuclear option" (banning the filibuster on executive appointments) back in 2013.

This is, by far, one of the excuses most anchored in smoke-and-mirrors, because it requires you to forget the reason the nuclear option was used in the first place. As this piece shows, the Democrats at the time were left with no other choice:
"FACT: By the time the nuclear option was enacted in late 2013, 82 Obama nominees had been blocked by Senator McConnell's minority since 2009. This number is almost as big as the total number of blocked nominees of every other U.S. President before him. It was so in-your-face blatant, and mostly, it hurt the country."
With lame excuses* like these, Senate Republicans should get themselves ready for the firestorm (for them to do their job) to intensify once the president names a candidate, should they continue to attempt to block this vote. They even risk getting put back in the monitory in the next Congress.

Denial is one of the early stages of grief. For the sake of the American people, it is time for the conservative movement to proceed to the next stages as quickly as possible.

The president, who refuses to ignore his Constitutional duties, knows that in the end the Senate will not ignore theirs as well.

*Other excuses:

  • They claim erroneously that no Supreme Court justices have ever been confirmed in election years. This is neither a fact, nor is there formal precedent or law that can back this up.
  • Another bogus excuse, he's not a Republican. In discussing the current vacancy and denying a replacement made by President Obama, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) recently said he would have no trouble letting a Republican president replace a conservative vacancy in the Court. Is there something he read in the Constitution that permanently sets the Court's balance at 5-4 in the conservative's favor?
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UPDATE 03/21/2016 : Apparently and incredibly, Senator (soon to be former Senator?) Johnson of Wisconsin does think the Supreme Court should be fixed at a 5-4 "balance." In that link, he brazenly claims, "trust me, we will not allow the Supreme Court to flip."

These Republican senators are playing with fire when they take the United States Constitution so lightly... for naked politics. 

As I said, these guys are in major denial. America is smart enough to understand that presidential elections are what determine if the court "flips," as the senator so eloquently puts it.

It is incredible that even though the president nominated a level-headed moderate candidate, Judge Merrick Garland, these senators continue to obstruct.

Contrary to what Mr. Johnson pretends to believe, I believe the senate will eventually do the right thing and do their job on this.