Did Republicans steal a Supreme Court seat? | The Tylt
When Justice Antonin Scalia died last year, then-president Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, but the GOP refused to give him a hearing. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the American people should decide the next nominee via the presidential election. According to the GOP, they did. But Democrats say Republicans effectively stole the seat by obstructing Obama's nominee and Donald Trump's pick, Neil Gorsuch, should be blocked as a result. What do you think? ⚖️
Did Republicans steal a Supreme Court seat?
Critics and legal scholars say Republicans blocked Obama's nomination and refused their constitutionally mandated duty simply to retain the Supreme Court's conservative majority. The New York Times editorial board called Neil Gorsuch "the nominee for a stolen seat."
"[Republicans] abused their power as the majority party and, within hours of Justice Scalia’s death, shut down the confirmation process for the remainder of Mr. Obama’s presidency. There would be no negotiations to release this hostage; the sole object was to hold on to the court’s conservative majority."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted the Supreme Court vacancy should be filled by the next president, not Obama, and invoked what he called "the Biden rule," referencing remarks Vice President Biden made as Senate Judiciary Chairman in 1992. At the time, Biden said a hypothetical Supreme Court opening should not be filled during a presidential election year, and that it was permissible for the court to only have eight justices temporarily.
“The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country, so of course the American people should have a say in the court’s direction," McConnell said.
But Salon broke down why the so-called "Biden rule" was not precedent. Presidents have nominated justices to fill Supreme Court vacancies during an election year eight times in our history, and every time they were given hearings and confirmed.
Many on the left are so angry, they want Neil Gorsuch blocked by the Democrats. They say the vacancy should have been filled during Obama's term. They're talking total obstruction.
But Republicans insist that what they did was fair play.
Democratic Senators are looking to reluctant to block Trump's nominee. More obstructionism might not help them, nor would it be good for the nation.
Dem Sen. Bennet said it’s “tempting” to block Gorsuch because of Garland treatment, but “two wrongs never make a right.”— James Arkin (@JamesArkin) March 20, 2017