Thursday, April 7, 2016

The simple SCOTUS vacancy rant

OK, I'm sick of the righteous posturing of the Republican senators who are refusing to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

Because they're quite simply lying.

What they say is... that the voters should decide who picks the next Supreme Court justice, because President Obama is a "lame duck". A "lame duck" with nearly 10 months in his Presidency left. The result of this will be a hobbled Supreme Court for nearly two years, and a couple of decisions already have shown why this is a problem.

The Washington Post editorial board said this:

Dear GOP: Stop playing politics and give Merrick Garland a confirmation hearing

First paragraph: 
"AS PRESIDENT Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the country’s second-most powerful court, to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Republican leaders immediately accused the White House of playing politics. In fact, it is Republicans who are putting politics above their essential responsibilities. Mr. Garland should get confirmation hearings, and after those a straight up-or-down vote. Any political damage Republicans endure for refusing will be self-inflicted and well-deserved." 

Now, if they would just admit it ... if they would just say, "we don't want a Democratic President who we haven't liked and have tried to obstruct at every turn since he was elected, picking a justice that will change the makeup of the Supreme Court in terms of its conservative advantage, and since we're the party running Congress and the Senate, we can just tell him to bug off", then at least they'd be honest about it.

Because here is the question I'd like to ask them and see if they could answer it honestly. Because there's only one honest answer. And if they answered ANY OTHER WAY, they would most certainly be lying.

Here's the question.

"If the President was a conservative Republican, would you hold hearings on his Supreme Court justice nominee, under these same circumstances in an elecion year?"

If they said "NO, we still wouldn't", they'd be totally lying. The only honest answer to this question is "YES, of course we would". (Historical precedent bears this out, by the way.)

If there was a conservative Republican president in office now, and the election circumstances were looking like they do right now (advantage Democrats, somewhat), the Republican senators would beg the President to nominate the youngest, most conservative candidate they could find, in hopes of having this ideologue on the Court for maybe the next 60 years or so. And they'd rubber stamp him onto the Court faster than you can say Oral Roberts University Law School. (And yes, they have one.)

Doesn't matter if the young pup is qualified. Clarence Thomas can school him on how to follow the Ways of Scalia.

Now, as I was composing this rant in my head, I got confirmation of my suppositions in the form of another Washington Post article:

Key conservatives pushing Mike Lee for the Supreme Court

Lee, you'll remember, is a Republican senator from Utah, and one of the few senators that doesn't detest Ted Cruz; in fact, he was one of the few senators that supported shutting down the government in a futile attempt to "defund" Obamacare, at Cruz's behest.

Umm... he's only 44 years old. And he clerked for Samuel Alito. Not exactly Scalia, but close.

Who's suggesting him? Oh, the Heritage Foundation, for one.

And here is a short synopsis of Mike Lee's legal views (from Right Wing Watch)

"Lee is a fervent “tenther,” someone who believes the 10th Amendment to the Constitution radically restricts the authority of the federal government. As Jeffrey Rosen wrote in the New York Times Magazine in 2010, “Lee offered glimpses of a truly radical vision of the U.S. Constitution, one that sees the document as divinely inspired and views much of what the federal government currently does as unconstitutional.”

Among the areas that Lee has suggested it is unconstitutional for the federal government to be engaged in: 
Social Security,
Medicare and Medicaid,
child labor laws,
food safety,
disaster relief,
food stamps,
the Violence Against Women Act,
and, of course, the Affordable Care Act."

For the Republican senators, he'd be perfect for the job, and if there was a Republican President right now (thankfully there isn't, and this shows why), you can bet Lee would be getting a hearing if he was nominated.

So, Senator McConnell, Senator Grassley, and all you other do-nothing gasbags who say you are making this decision "on sound principle", please do me a favor and shut the f*ck up. Because it isn't principle, it's political, obviously and baldfacedly. And to lie about why you're doing it just makes you scummier and more crass than you already are.

And that's hard to do.

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