US President Donald Trump last Saturday nominated Amy Coney Barrett to fill the spot of Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18. A lot of criticism was then directed against the American president. The Republicans defended his act while saying something else with Merrick Garland in 2016, right? The GOP are hypocritical, right? Today we will find out!
The election campaign is in full swing and then suddenly died Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was nominated by Bill Clinton in 1993. America was in shock, everyone was mourning, including President Trump who heard the news live:
Everyone agreed that Justice Ginsburg had a great career and life. No one denied the differences of opinion, but everyone was civil enough to show their sympathy.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement:
"In the last midterm just before Judge Scalia passed away in 2016, Americans elected a Republican majority because we pledged to be a check-and-balance in the closing days of the paralyzed president's second term."
By contrast, Americans re-elected our majority in 2016 and increased our majority in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, especially on his nomination for judges. Again, we keep our promise. ”
"President Trump's choice will be voted in the United States Senate." Senate Leader Mitch McConnell
McConnell is talking about 2016, then judge Antonin Scalia died, one of the most conservative justices on the Supreme Court. If it were up to President Obama, this one would be replaced by Merrick Garland, who would become one of the most liberal judges. At that point, the midterms had been and Republicans had a majority in the Senate. It was also the last year of Obama's presidency.
According to McConnell, the circumstances are different from now:
Now the Republicans have a majority and the president is of the same party. According to Republicans, it is therefore still by mandate of the American people.
McConnell also takes a statement from Opposition leader Chuck Shumer (D-NY) from 2016. Then Shumer said this:
- Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) -
Attention GOP: The Senate has approved 17 Supreme Court justices in one election year. #DoYourWork ”
Now, Shumer says McConnell must complete the election before a judge is nominated.
Democrats in 2016
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 19, 2016
On October 19, President Barack Obama was still talking about it. Then they were even closer to the elections than we are now.
Unbeknownst to Obama, his administration has built the argument of the current Senate, for example with the following Tweet:
- White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) April 8, 2016
Obama saw the "need" for a ninth Supreme Court judge, and so called on Republicans to "do their job" and at least question Merrick Garland. McConnell stood his ground and Garland's interrogation never came.
Now the tables have turned, the Republicans have the White House and the Senate. President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett on Saturday and hopes that the Senate will approve and install her in the Supreme Court ahead of the November 3 election.
Ginsburg's last wish
The Democrats want the winner of the election to make the nomination, not President Trump. Here they refer to one pronunciation which Ruth Bader Ginsburg is said to have said just before her death, but for which there is no evidence.
"My most ardent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed"
The Democrats are accusing the president and Senate leader of disrespecting RBG's dying wish and going ahead and installing a replacement as soon as they can.
Chuck Shumer has made her last wish political by attempting to add in a resolution in the Senate that her last wish must be respected and therefore no one should be approved until the election and inauguration are over.
This resolution did not pass because Ted Cruz (R-TX) objected, in the following video he explains to the Senate why he objected:
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke in April 2016 of the need for the next president to fill Scalia's seat. Graham believes that “voters should influence” who sits on the Supreme Court:
I just met with Judge Garland. pic.twitter.com/gScIsrp8CB
- Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 20, 2016
Four years later, he seems to be of the opinion changed and will approve President Trump's nominee. As chairman of the Senate Judicial Commission, he is responsible for questioning candidates.
He has already indicated that the hearings of Amy Coney Barrett will start in October.
The McConnell Rule
Democrats and opponents of the president add the so-called McConnell rule. According to the media, this rule would amount to: no nomination of a Supreme Court judge in an election year. But it is much more complicated.
According to Mitch McConnell himself, you would "have to go back to 1888 when Grover Cleveland was in the White House to find the most recent time a Senate from another party approved the president's nomination in election year."
“We know what would happen if the tables were turned, a nomination from a Republican president would not be approved by a Democratic Senate if this happened in an election year. That's a fact!" - Mitch McConnell
In short, the Senate should not consider a nomination if it is made by the other party, provided it is done in an election year.
If the Republicans were to interrogate Amy Coney Barrett, it wouldn't go against the so-called McConnell rule. By the way, this rule was first used in 1992 by Senator Joe Biden, long before Mitch McConnell brought it up.
Are the Republicans hypocritical? No, they follow the same rule, and rightly point to different circumstances compared to 2016.
Are the Republicans saying something different now than they did in 2016 with Merrick Garland? No, most GOP Senators use the same arguments as in 2016, and even use the arguments that President Barack Obama, Chuck Shumer, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton themselves put forward when Obama was allowed to nominate someone.
Only Lindsey Graham (R-SC) seems to have changed his mind.
Is there hypocrisy with Lindsey Graham? To some extent, you can say that Lindsey Graham is saying something different now and therefore applies some hypocrisy as well.
We will keep you informed about what is happening!
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