Just when one thought this election fall could not get more bizarre, legendary Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg succumbed (after a heroic fight) to her pancreatic cancer. While Justice Ginsburg will be honored for days, neither party wasted any time spinning their views about who should be nominating the next Supreme Court Justice, and when that nomination should happen.
There is absolutely no point arguing why the Republicans or Democrats are hypocrites. They all are; full stop.
In 2016, when the GOP thought its only hope of nominating a Conservative justice to the bench was an extremely unlikely Donald Trump victory, Mitch McConnell refused to bring Judge Garland’s nomination to the Senate floor for a vote. Every leading democrat repudiated Senator McConnell’s tactics and insisted that he do his job as Majority Leader by giving President Obama’s nominee his day in court (so to speak).
I am not going to do your homework for you, but I will give you the answer. To be clear, when I say that every leading democrat opined that the Senate should do its job and give Mr. Garland his hearing, I am not exaggerating. Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, and President Obama were adamant. Even Justice Ginsburg said “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being President in his last year.”
Ahhh, but is what is good for the goose good for the gander? Well, if you ask Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama today, they would clearly say “of course not!” And if one is to believe Justice Ginsburg’s granddaughter when she says her grandmother’s last wish was that her replacement be picked by the next President, then even the Justice apparently saw goose and gander as distinctly different. The irony of Judge Ginsburg’s alleged last wish is that even if the next President were to choose her replacement, it does not mean the choice wouldn’t be made by President Trump. So seen through that lens, her “hail mary” is not all that different from Mitch McConnell’s in 2016.
The bottom line is that it’s all about politics; it has ever been thus. Do you actually think for a second that if the roles were reversed Chuck Schumer would wait until after the election? Good Lord, please tell me you aren’t going to die on that hill!
Before you protest, let’s remember the Democrats are the party threatening to end the filibuster and expand the the number of seats on the Supreme Court if they win the majority. There is no high ground here. This is spit-balling, hard-nosed politics.
It is arguable that the longest lasting legacy from the Trump years will be in the judges appointed to the District, Circuit, and Supreme Courts. Politics have always been crude, cruel, and ugly. Yes, the civility those of us long in the tooth remember has left the building. We seem to be at the nadir. But truly, it is a complete waste of time to argue the morality of either party. It will be what it will be; there is too much at stake.
I would say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander for both parties. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Time will tell who holds the sword in November.
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