By Jon Dougherty
It seems like, in the age of POTUS Trump, more and more Republicans are growing spines and figuring out that when they are in control, they don’t have to play by Democrat rules.
Case in point: At an event in his home state of Kentucky this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to fill any Supreme Court vacancies that occur even though it’s an election year — a pledge which, expectedly, drew frantic cries of “hypocrisy!” from perpetually angry Democrats.
During a Chamber of Commerce event in Paducah, in response to a question about a potential SCOTUS vacancy, McConnell said, confidently, “Oh, we’d fill it,” to knowing chuckles from the audience.
"Oh, we'd fill it." pic.twitter.com/ymTj44ZPBr
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) May 29, 2019
McConnell noted that it is important to fill court vacancies, and especially Supreme Court vacancies, when possible to do so with candidates who are not to the Left of Mao and Che Gueverra because laws can be undone and Executive Branch policies reversed.
“What can’t be undone is a lifetime appointment to a young man or woman who believes in the quaint notion that the job of a judge is to follow the law,” McConnell said. “That’s the most important thing we’ve done for the country which cannot be undone.”
The Senate confirmed its 100th Trump judge on May 2.
Needless to say, Democratic Leftists were crying foul. And hypocrisy. And other things we can’t and won’t print here.
Like Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
“Seriously, it’s no surprise,” the minority leader said in a tweet.
“McConnell lives for GOP judges because he knows the GOP agenda is so radical and unpopular they can only achieve it in courts,” Schumer said. “Anyone who believes he’d ever allow confirmation of a Democratic president’s nominee for the Supreme Court is fooling themselves.”
Well, if that were true — the GOP isn’t popular and its ideas ‘radical’ — then why does the party control the Senate and the White House (and until last year the House)?
Anyway, McConnell addressed the allegations of hypocrisy. He believes the relevant historical precedent is election-year confirmations during a period of divided government.
“It’s within the president’s authority to nominate a successor even in this very rare circumstance,” McConnell said during a February 2016 floor speech. “Remember that the Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was divided government since 1888, almost 130 years ago.”
There are currently two justices who are very close to retirement age. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 86 and Justice Stephen Breyer is 80, though neither has any pressing health issues.
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- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10