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SCOTUS Brief 2/22/2016

Joe Biden’s 1992 Senate Speech Gains Traction – AP: Democrats “concede that Obama’s pick is unlikely to be confirmed” – Carl Cannon: Democrats’ Double Standard for High Court Nominees

  1. Joe Biden’s 1992 Senate speech on why then-President George H.W. Bush shouldn’t be allowed to appoint a Supreme Court justice gains traction.
  • @CSPAN: Sen. Joe Biden in 1992 says President Bush should “not name a nominee until after the November election…” #SCOTUS 

Mr. Biden’s remarks echo many Republicans’ arguments that President Barack Obama shouldn’t submit a nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13. Many Senate Republicans have said Mr. Scalia’s replacement — which could tilt the high court’s balance of power — should be left to the next president to choose after the November elections. And many Republicans have argued, as Mr. Biden suggested, that the Senate Judiciary Committee shouldn’t hold confirmation hearings on any nominee. Republicans said Mr. Biden’s comments demonstrated they were within bounds to reject consideration of any high court nominee.”

“Joe Biden argued in 1992 that the president should not nominate any Supreme Court candidates until after that year’s presidential election. ‘It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is underway — and it is — action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over,’ Biden, then a Delaware senator, said in June of 1992. “That is what is fair to the nominee and essential to the process.

In this Senate floor statement from June 1992, Senator Joe Biden says that if a Supreme Court vacancy were to arise while the ‘political season [i.e., presidential campaign] is underway,’ President George H.W. Bush should follow the ‘practice of the majority of his predecessors’ and not nominate anyone to the vacancy until after the election. Biden further states that if President Bush were to ignore that advice, the Senate Judiciary Committee should ‘seriously consider not scheduling’ a hearing until after the election.”

  1. The Associated Press writes that even Democrats “concede that Obama’s pick is unlikely to be confirmed”

AP: A constitutional clash with Congress

Democrats, who have their own history of boxing out Republicans over court nominees, are up in arms, but begrudgingly concede that Obama’s pick is unlikely to be confirmed… Obama acknowledges that he and his party aren’t blameless. The White House says Obama regrets that as a senator, he joined a filibuster against Samuel Alito’s nomination to the high court… Less than three years ago, when Democrats ran the Senate, they invoked the “nuclear option,” unilaterally changing practices so that the minority party couldn’t use a filibuster to block presidential nominees for key appellate judgeships.”

  1. Carl Cannon writes at Real Clear Politics that Hillary Clinton’s hypocrisy on Supreme Court vacancies is clear for all to see.

Carl Cannon: Democrats’ Double Standard for High Court Nominees

“Hillary Clinton didn’t go there. She’s sticking by her opposition to Alito and Roberts, asserting in Thursday’s MSNBC town hall that she didn’t believe ‘their judicial philosophy and approach was one that would be the best for the country.’ Repeating a White House talking point, Clinton added that “the process” worked—and that both nominees were in the end confirmed. That’s very different, she added, from Republicans just announcing they don’t want Obama to nominate anyone. On one level, she’s right. But by that logic, actually filling Scalia’s vacancy necessitates Obama nominating someone whose ‘judicial philosophy and approach’ is one that a majority of Senate Republicans would deem ‘best for the country.’ So a bar has been set: Call it the Clinton standard. Does anyone believe Obama will meet it?