Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties). Sunday, September 20th 2020, 12:59 PM HST, Island News: If It Matters To You, It Matters To Us, KITV | 801 South King Street | Honolulu, HI 96813, death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines. Do you have information you want to share with HuffPost? “Some will criticize such a decision and say that it was nothing more than an attempt to save a seat on the court in hopes that a Democrat will be permitted to fill it, but that would not be our intention. The Senate ultimately became more docile and, in more recent history, it has generally given presidents a lot of leeway on Supreme Court nominees. Justice Ginsburg was 87, and was on the bench for 27 years. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. Most of the time before that, they failed. All Rights Reserved. Joe Biden had said in a 1992 Senate floor speech -- when there were no high court vacancies to fill -- that "once the political season is under way, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.". It’s worth noting, too, that the failure was Lyndon Johnson’s nomination of Abe Fortas to chief justice after the then-president had announced he wouldn’t seek another term. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) explained on Wednesday, Republicans want to wait until after this year's presidential election -- in order to “give the people a voice in filling this vacancy.”, A more likely explanation is that Republicans simply can’t abide the idea of a Democratic appointee filling Justice Antonin Scalia’s old seat, thereby creating a working liberal majority on the court. At the time, although the White House was in Democratic hands, the Senate had a Republican majority, and Republican leaders said they would neither hold hearings nor schedule a vote for Garland when less than a year remained until the November 2016 election. And if Clinton wins and Republicans retain the Senate, they will almost certainly just try to prevent Clinton filling the vacancy rather than confirming Garland. On February 23, a week after Scalia's death and before Obama had nominated his replacement, McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor that no Obama nominee would receive a vote. But the selection of Garland makes that argument spectacularly difficult to back up. If the secret to life is good timing, then Judge Merrick Garland was the right man at the wrong time. "I hope they're fair," Obama said of Senate Republicans in the Rose Garden as he announced Garland was his choice. The GOP's refusal to act on Obama's nominee turned the Supreme Court into a key political issue in November's general election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. , is outside the mainstream and unfit to serve on the court. Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican party in the US Senate, said, “Americans re-elected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary… President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”. (AP Photo: Alex Brandon). But ultimately, President Barack Obama's last Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland — a judge who mainly agreed with now Chief Justice John Roberts, a … While it’s not surprising that Democrats are still crying about Merrick Garland, their anger is truly misplaced. Until President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland didn’t receive a vote in 2016, the only presidents to experience rejections in election years were exceptionally weak or lacked legitimacy. You don't need an excuse to vote early. And when it comes to ideology, Garland has a record of moderate, deferential rulings -- in other words, nothing like the ideologically extreme views that Bork had routinely espoused when he was writing about the law. Other leading Republicans followed McConnell's lead. Whether they should use this power, however, is a matter of norms, and of politics. Needless to say, Democrats are going to use this against McConnell: The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. The White House nominates judges, and the US Senate — the upper house of the US Congress — confirms them. If Republicans agreed to hearings, they’d have to make peace with losing the court -- or make the difficult case that a relatively moderate liberal, with a voting record similar to Stephen Breyer, is outside the mainstream and unfit to serve on the court. Expect to hear these words repeated in a context-free manner over the next few weeks: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. You may opt out at anytime. It didn’t help that Fortas was plagued by a host of ethical controversies, including a problematic closeness with the Johnson White House and his acceptance of dubious payments related to his teaching gig at Washington, D.C.’s American University. John Adams did it. All rights reserved. It is your right and your responsibility. Within hours -- as other senators were offering condolences to Scalia's family -- McConnell issued a stunning, categorical rejection of Obama's authority more than 11 months before the Democrat's replacement would be sworn into office. The one thing Democrats aren’t going to tell you is who controlled the Senate and the White House in both 1992 (when Joe Biden first enumerated the Biden rule) and 2016 (when Mitch McConnell invoked it). Recently we saw Garland in action during the General Flynn hearing in front of the entire DC Circuit Court. It’s probably better to cite the fact that in the 128 years between Grover Cleveland’s nomination of Melville Fuller to chief justice and Garland’s nomination, no president whose party didn’t control the Senate submitted a non-recess appointment nominee during an election year. He says he stands up to Russia, but helped a Russian Oligarch for rewards and blocks election security. But his record indicates that he would fit comfortably within the liberal wing of the Supreme Court. Many Republicans cited the "Biden rule.". The first time it happened, as the Rutgers University historian David Greenberg has pointed out, was during the first presidency -- when Federalists refused to confirm a George Washington nominee who had spoken out against the controversial Jay Treaty with Great Britain. When a seat on the Supreme Court became vacant in February 2016 after the death of the noted conservative jurist Justice Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama, who was then in the last year of his presidency, nominated the highly regarded moderate judge Merrick Garland to take Scalia’s place in the court. And he's backed up by the Republican conference in the Senate. A reason they frequently cited: What they called the "Biden rule." That was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell back in 2016 after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Even some blue-state senators with the most to lose from Republican obstructionism, like New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte, are reiterating their opposition to allowing the nomination of Garland to proceed. It will probably succeed anyway. Republicans explained this volte-face by saying that in 2016, although Obama was in the White House, it was their party which had been given a majority in the Senate just two years prior during the 2014 midterm elections, and so the American people had the right to decide the next Supreme Court justice, not a divided Washington. He’s a meritocrat's dream who commands almost universal respect in the legal profession -- criteria that, for better or worse, surely weighed heavily with Obama. And not all of the likely opposition will come from the Republican side of the aisle. This vacancy arose during Obama's final year as president. I see #MerrickGarland trending and I want to remind people that not only did #MoscowMitch steal a Supreme Court seat, but Democratic leaders did virtually nothing to stop him. Most of the time, such nominees succeed. Needless to say, if Trump or Cruz wins, they will get the next nomination no matter what. "Presidents have a right to nominate, just as the Senate has its constitutional right to provide or withhold consent," the Kentucky Republican said. has pointed out, was during the first presidency -- when Federalists refused to confirm a George Washington nominee who had spoken out against the controversial Jay Treaty with Great Britain. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” That was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell back in 2016 after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. — Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) July 30, 2019, He who sat on #MerrickGarland you know Mitch, when you are in the kitchen it gets a little warm sometimes. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with the Senate contemplating a potential judge’s philosophy when exercising its power to provide “. It was one of the harbingers of the full-scale assault on the rule of law by Trump, Barr, and the GOP. In 1992, Republican George H.W. “Historically, when the opposite party controls the Senate, the Senate gets to block Supreme Court nominees sent up in a presidential election year, and hold the seat open for the winner. When a seat on the Supreme Court became vacant in February 2016 after the death of the noted conservative jurist Justice Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama, who was then in the last year of his presidency, nominated the highly regarded moderate judge Merrick Garland to take Scalia’s place in the court. Doing so would be a complete reversal of his position in 2016, when the GOP-led Senate refused to hold a hearing or vote on then-President Barack Obama's nominee, saying it was too close to the election. The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg less than two months from the presidential election has forced a reexamination of Republicans' 11-month blockade of Merrick Garland … Sen. Today is National Voter Registration Day! In 2016, Republicans controlled the upper chamber and Democrat Barack Obama was in the White House. The statement has caused a furore among Democrats, who are accusing Republicans of backtracking from the position they took in 2016, when judge Merrick Garland, an appointee of President Barack Obama, did not receive a vote in the Senate because the vacancy had arisen in the final year of Obama’s presidency.
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