This will be a short comment, although one that is consuming me in an angry way. It concerns the hypocrisy, and there is no other word, of Senator Mitch McConnell. The Speaker of the Senate Republican majority is very cagey, no doubt about that. He controls a Senate majority of fifty three Republicans, along with forty five Democrats and two Independents, both of whom caucus with the Democrats. On a major issue like this, the effective nominal split is fifty three to forty seven. With Vice President Mike Pence voting in case of a tie, the Republicans have, effectively, a four vote majority.
McConnell famously, or infamously, determined that the Senate would not take up consideration of President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court upon the death of Justice Scalia in February, 2016. His stated reason was that the decision should be left to the next president, at that time still ten months away. That was an unprecedented matter, but he enforced it and Merrill Garland, the highly respected Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was never considered by the Senate.
McConnell’s decision, apparently “precedent" based on the Garland nomination, now is thrown out his (ethical?) window. President Trump will get to make a selection for the Supreme Court, his third in four years, based on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death from cancer. There will be rushed consideration and a vote in the next forty five days before the election of November, 2020 - or possibly between the election and the inauguration. Usually the process of a Supreme Court nomination and consideration requires a half year, but McConnell now says he will throw out his previous philosophy that “the people” should decide the next President before a last-year nomination is considered. Again, no matter what your view is, the back-step on his own “philosophy” by Mr. McConnell is staggeringly shallow.
In the event Mr. Trump is reelected, there would be time for the replacement of RBG to be considered in full light of his victory. In the event of a Biden win, of course this brazen power grab would put a Justice on the Court rammed through in the worst sense of fairness. Just take a minute to consider this if the tables were reversed, and in fact they were only four years ago.
I can’t imagine this taking place; it seems to be a scene out of a Huey Long movie, or some third-world dictatorship. But here? McConnell should be ashamed of himself. Hopefully decent Republican Senators will stand up and put an end to this cheap power grab.
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