Today’s Washington Examiner weighed in on the current discussion about replacing deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Obviously, the Republicans (hoping for a Republican President in 2017) want to name Justice Scalia’s replacement after the next President takes office. The Democrats, logically, want President Obama to pick Justice Scalia’s successor. When you think about it, that it is very interesting situation. The Democrats are not confident enough on a victory in the presidential election in November to be willing to allow the next president to name a Supreme Court Justice.
However, the idea of a lame-duck President appointing a Supreme Court Justice who will serve in the Supreme Court for life has not always been popular with the Democrats.
Below is a YouTube video from July 2007 of Senator Chuck Schumer speaking to the American Constitution Society. Senator Schumer explained that no Supreme Court nominees should be approved for the remainder of the term of President George W. Bush. This was almost a year and a half before the presidential election. Here is the video:
Another article in the Washington Examiner includes the video and the following:
Sen. Chuck Schumer said in July 2007 that no George W. Bush nominee to the Supreme Court should be approved, except in extraordinary circumstances, 19 months before a new president was set to be inaugurated.
“We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, said in prepared remarks to the American Constitution Society, a liberal legal organization.
Schumer cited ideological reasons for the delay.
“They must prove by actions, not words, that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not,” Schumer said at the time.
As the Democratic Party attempts to convince us that President Obama should choose another radical ideologue for the Supreme Court, we need to remember the words of Senator Schumer. We also need to remember that the rules don’t change because the party in power changes–the rules apply to both parties. It would be a matter or courtesy to allow the next President to choose Justice Scalia’s successor. Let’s see if there is any courtesy left in Washington.