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Flashback: Biden Said Senate Should Not Confirm SCOTUS Pick During Election Season

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Vice President Joe Biden argued that the president should not name a Supreme Court nominee to fill any vacancy during an election year until after the election is completed and that if the president did name a pick during an election year, the Judiciary Committee should “seriously consider” not having hearings until after the campaign is over and that this was “fair to the nominee and essential to the process” in a speech on the Senate floor on June 25, 1992 that was flagged by C-SPAN user jeremyart and tweeted by C-SPAN.

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Biden said, “[I]t is my view that if a Supreme Court justice resigns tomorrow, or within the next several weeks, or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush should consider following the practice of the majority of his predecessors and not name a nominee until the November election is completed.”

He added that if the president did push an election-year nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee should “seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until ever — until after the political campaign season is over.”

He further stated that delaying action on a Supreme Court nomination until after the election was “fair to the nominee and essential to the process. Otherwise…we will be in deep trouble as an institution.”

Biden further dismissed the consequences of leaving the court with only 8 justices “for some time” as “quite minor compared to the cost that a nominee, the president, the Senate, and the nation would have to pay for what would assuredly be a bitter fight, no matter how good a person is nominated by the president, if that nomination were to take place in the next several weeks.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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