Top Democratic senators are begging and pleading with Republicans to wait until after November’s midterm elections before replacing United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced Wednesday that his retirement would begin late next month.
Fearing that President Donald Trump will quickly work to replace Kennedy with a conservative successor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) demanded that the Supreme Court seat must remain open for several months – until after the 2018 midterms take place this fall.
“Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016 – not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year,” the New York lawmaker voiced from the Senate floor Wednesday, according to Breitbart News. “Senator McConnell would tell anyone who listened that the Senate had the right to advise and consent, and that was every bit as important as the president’s right to nominate.”
Key Dems already crying foul
Schumer said it would be unfair and called out Republican leaders as being hypocrites if they do not wait several months before filling the soon-to-be vacated SCOTUS seat.
“Millions of people are just months away from determining the senators who should vote to confirm or reject the president’s nominee, and their voices deserve to be heard now as Leader McConnell thought they deserved to be heard then,” the outspoken Democrat added. “Anything but that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy.”
The liberal legislator was rereferring to the GOP’s concern that the Obama administration would upset the balance in the Supreme Court by replacing the late SCOTUS Justice Anton Scalia with a leftist appointment.
“Schumer reminded McConnell that Republicans refused to allow the Senate to vote on former President Barack Obama’s nominee in 2016 to replace Justice Anton Scalia, who died of a heart attack shortly before the election,” the Daily Caller pointed out. “Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed in April 2017 by a vote of 54–45.”
Many conservative Republicans are rejoicing in Kennedy’s impending departure, as he has consistently swayed America’s legal precedent to the left by often embracing unbiblical and politically correct principles through major rulings that often undermined national security, the sanctity of human life, as well as free speech and religious freedom, while his other decisions promoted same-sex “marriage” and other LGBTQ “rights.”
“Kennedy was nominated by former President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and led narrow majorities to landmark decisions on gay rights, abortion, the First Amendment, and Guantanamo Bay detainees,” the Daily Caller’s Chris White reported. “He also became an important swing vote to balance out a bitterly partisan Supreme Court.”
Giving just about a month’s notice, Kennedy informed Trump Wednesday that he will be vacating his SCOTUS associate Justice seat on July 31.
Mirroring Schumer’s concern that Republicans will replace the liberal Kennedy with a conservative appointment, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) insisted that voters must be given the opportunity to hit the ballot box and possibly change the balance in the Democrats’ favor before the GOP makes its replacement decisions that will be voted on in the Senate.
“Given the stakes of this Supreme Court seat, which will determine the fate of fundamental constitutional rights, the American people, who will vote in less than 4 months, deserve to have their voice heard,” Harris tweeted Wednesday. “We shouldn’t vote on confirmation until they have voted at the ballot box.”
Ultra-liberal Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also chimed in on the issue, reflecting Schumer’s point of contention.
"There should be no consideration of a Supreme Court nominee until the American people have a chance to weigh in,” Feinstein contended, according to Breitbart News. “Leader McConnell set that standard in 2016 … and the Senate should follow the McConnell Standard."
Sen. Chris Hollen (D-Md.) also argued that he and Democrats want Republicans to delay finding Kennedy’s replacement so that they will not appoint someone who embraces conservative ideals from the bench.
“The McConnell Rule is clear—the American people must have a say in the upcoming election Kennedy’s seat is filled,” Van Hollen posted on Twitter Wednesday. “And when the Senate considers the President’s nominee next year, we need someone who will get broad support – not someone that will put special interests first.”
Trump not willing to wait …
Flying in the face of Democrats’ demands, Trump indicated that he is already in the process of working to fill Kennedy’s seat that will be vacated in just over a month.
“President Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday afternoon he will choose a nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy immediately and said his pick will come from a list released by his transition team in November 2017,” Townhall reported.
The president took to social media to let his followers know that his administration is looking to fill the void left by Kennedy with his successor soon.
"[Kennedy] has been a great justice of the Supreme Court," Trump tweeted Wednesday. "Hopefully we will pick someone who is just as outstanding."
Also going against McConnell’s wishes to confirm Kennedy’s successor this fall, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) corroborated Trump’s plans to move forward with the retiring justice’s replacement immediately.
“I expect the president will soon nominate someone for the Senate to consider,” Grassley announced in a statement Wednesday, according to Townhall. “I encourage the president to choose a nominee with the credentials, intellect and commitment to the rule of law necessary to serve on the Supreme Court. I look forward to having the nominee before us in the Senate Judiciary Committee for his or her hearing in the weeks ahead.”
Grassley was also quick to point out that Obama did just what Schumer and other Democratic leaders are accusing Trump of doing – regarding replacing a SCOTUS justice before midterms.
“Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also pointed to the fact that Obama appointed Justice Elena Kagan to the court during a midterm year in 2010,” CNBC.com informed. “She was confirmed a few months before the elections.”
Republicans and Democrats alike realize that moving forward in the process to appoint Kennedy’s successor now will greatly influence the law of the land concerning controversial political issues for this and future generations.
“Kennedy's departure gives Trump a chance to appoint another conservative to the court and shape U.S. policy for decades to come,” CNBC.com’s Jacob Pramuk explained. “His retirement could have huge effects on abortion rights and gay rights, including whether the court upholds Roe v. Wade. The 81-year-old … was considered a swing vote on the court and joined with his liberal colleagues on some crucial decisions.”