There’s a vacancy on the most important court in America, and the message from Senate Republicans is crystal clear: forget the Constitution. For Senate Republicans, it does not matter who President Obama nominates because they will allow no votes and will hold no hearings on that nominee. Their response to one of the most solemn and consequential tasks that our government performs is to pretend that the nominee — and President Obama himself — do not exist.
At the same time that they are blocking all possible Supreme Court nominees, Senate Republicans are in a panic because their party appears to be on a path to nominate one of two extremists for president — extremists who attack the legitimacy of their political opponents and demean millions of Americans. Senate Republicans worry that, if either candidate is selected to be the party’s standard-bearer, the Republican party will lose in November.
Republicans’ stance on Supreme Court nominees and their response to the extremists at the top of their party’s ticket are the same issue. And the solution is simple. If Republican Senators want to stand up to extremists running for president, they can start by standing up to extremists in the Senate.
They can start by doing their jobs.
Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution says that the president nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
There is no secret clause that says “…except when that president is a Democrat.” If Senators object to a nominee’s qualifications, they can vote no and explain themselves to the American people. Although President Obama and I are members of the same political party, I haven’t agreed with every single nomination he’s made — and I have made my objections clear. That’s how advice and consent works: learn about the nominees, and then use your best, good faith judgment to evaluate their qualifications.
Because here’s the deal: extremists might not like it, but Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 by nine million votes and won re-election in 2012 by five million votes. There were no recounts or hanging chads, no stuffing the ballot box or tampering with voting machines, no intervention from the Supreme Court. President Obama was elected the legitimate president seven years ago, and he is the legitimate president right now.
So if it’s true that some Republican Senators are finally ready to stand up to the extremism that denies the legitimacy of this president and of the Constitution, I say to them: do your job. Vote on a Supreme Court nominee. Vote on District Court judges and Circuit Court judges. Vote on ambassadors. Vote on agency leaders and counterterrorism officials.
If Senate Republicans want to stop extremism in their party, they can start by showing the American people that they respect the president and the Constitution enough to do their job in the United States Senate.
an advocate of democracy
a person who believes in the political or social equality of all people.
a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Synonyms: leftism, welfarism
policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism
an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
Synonyms: authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, autocracy
the disposition to preserve or restore what is established and traditional and to limit change
the principles and practices of political conservatives