The Left’s ‘Living, breathing’ Constitution
Responding to Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely demise and urging his replacement, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) took to the podium on February 15, pontificating on the current judicial situation concerning the vacancy of a Supreme Court Justice. She also exposed her knowledge vacancy regarding things constitutional.
First, Senator Warren recited the obvious: “Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution says the President of the United States nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate.”
Basically, yes; but she didn’t leave it as a statement of fact, done for effect. She had to launch into the legendary Warren sarcasm, revealing how little she cares for Senate procedure and her lack of understanding of the U.S. Constitution, for which by her record, she cares even less.
“I can’t find a clause that says, ‘except when there’s a year left in the term of a Democrat president.’ Senate Republicans took an oath just like Senate Democrats did.
“Abandoning the duties they swore to uphold would threaten both the Constitution and our democracy itself. It would also prove that all the Republican talk about loving the Constitution is just that – empty talk.”
Contrary to Senator Warren’s shallow understanding of the Constitution, however, it gives the president the power to nominate, not the opportunity to appoint; the Senate does that, as instructed by the Constitution.
The Senate Republican Majority upholds their oaths by doing exactly what they are doing, because of their love of the Constitution (well, in this case). And, as far as “our democracy itself”… we don’t have one, Senator Warren. The correct term is a republic, used since its inception.
About that comment, “took an oath just like the Democrats did,” Senator Warren: Can I provide some very recent “Democrat history” to correct your recollection?
In 1992, Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) spoke from the Senate floor, warning senators not to approve or consider any nominations for the Supreme Court during an election year. He was determined not to allow President George H. W. Bush a chance to put forward a nominee to the court during an election year.
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), then Senate Majority Leader, said in 2005, “The duties of the Senate are set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Nowhere in that document does it say the Senate has a duty to give presidential appointees a vote.”
Also in 2005, Barack Obama, then a Democrat senator from Illinois, filibustered the nomination of Judge Sam Alito to the Supreme Court. Now he rails against the “obstructionist” Republican Senate Majority for suggesting the same thing.
In a speech at the American Constitution Society on July 27, 2007 New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer emphatically stated that, “We must not confirm any George Bush nominee to the Supreme Court.” That comment came a full 15 months before the election of 2008.
Yes, the Scalia departure from the court is serious, particularly with the cases to be decided this session and also the cases spinning up for the next year. But the Constitution does not mandate the number of justices required or when vacancies must be filled. Those decisions are the Senate’s.
Once more, the U.S. Constitution tells the Congress that they control the composition of the courts, not vice-versa. Congress decides how many justices and when, including the highest court. Not the president, no matter the party.
Let’s end the nomination hypocrisy.