Should the Senate Wait Until Post-Midterms to Consider a New SCOTUS Justice?
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by Countable | 6.28.18
What’s the story?
- Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) - the top (D) on the Senate Judiciary Committee - wants the Senate to apply the “McConnell standard” and postpone voting on a Supreme Court justice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy until after the midterms.
“Leader McConnell set that standard in 2016 when he denied Judge [Merrick] Garland a hearing for nearly a year, and the Senate should follow the McConnell Standard," Feinstein said shortly after Kennedy announced his retirement.
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) echoed what Feinstein and many other Democrats are saying, tweeting that it would be the “height of hypocrisy” for Republicans to vote on a nominee to replace Kennedy during an election year.
What's the "McConnell rule"?
- In 2016, McConnell was responsible for blocking President Barack Obama's nomination for the Supreme Court – Merrick Garland - following the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
- The GOP leader argued that the Senate shouldn’t consider a SCOTUS justice during an election year, and should, instead, allow voters to have a chance to weigh in on who they’d like on the high court.
- Once President Donald Trump was elected, he nominated now-Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Court. No Democrats would vote for Gorsuch, so McConnell triggered the so-called “nuclear option” that allows Republicans to break a Democratic filibuster of Supreme Court nominees.
- This controversial change to Senate rules (voted along party lines) allows filibusters of SCOTUS picks to be broken with 51 votes rather than 60.
What do you think?
Do you agree with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) that “with so much at stake for the people of our country, the U.S. Senate must be consistent and consider the President’s #SCOTUS nominee once the new Congress is seated in January”? Or should McConnell press ahead with his promise to “confirm Justice Kennedy’s successor this fall”? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: @Team_Mitch via Twitter)
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