The GOP leader of the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and the chairman of the Senate’s judiciary committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley, are singing a choreographed and harmonious rejection of the Democratic Senators who want to quickly replace Justice Antonin Scalia with an appointee from President Barack Obama.
Their harmonious tune, published by The Washington Post, is bad for the Democrats, especially their emerging leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer. The harmony means less GOP disagreement, and that means less media drama, less controversy and less pressure on Republican Senators to surrender to Obama and his progressives.
The two Senators’ lyrics are also effective, because they’re urging Democrats to let the voting public — not just politicians — help pick the next lifetime appointee to the Supreme Court. That’s a moral high-ground, and it helps other GOP Senators fend off Democratic claims that they are “obstructing” the Senate.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was a towering figure whose sharp wit and formidable intellect were rivaled only by a decades-long fidelity to our founding document and an enduring commitment to the rule of law. His death stands as a tragic loss for our country. Finding the right person to take the seat he occupied will clearly be a monumental task.
It may be a consequential challenge, but we think it’s one the American people are more than equipped to tackle.
Rarely does a Supreme Court vacancy occur in the final year of a presidential term, and the Senate has not confirmed a nominee to fill a vacancy arising in such circumstances for the better part of a century. So the American people have a particular opportunity now to make their voice heard in the selection of Scalia’s successor as they participate in the process to select their next president — as they decide who they trust to both lead the country and nominate the next Supreme Court justice. How often does someone from Ashland, Ky., or Zearing, Iowa, get to have such impact?
We don’t think the American people should be robbed of this unique opportunity. Democrats beg to differ. They’d rather the Senate simply push through yet another lifetime appointment by a president on his way out the door …
We also know that Americans issued a stinging rebuke to this president and his policies in our latest national election, delivering a landslide for the opposition party as they handed control of the Senate to Republicans in 2014.
Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. It is today the American people, rather than a lame-duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election, who should be afforded the opportunity to replace Justice Scalia.
Read it all here.