While it’s been several weeks since the unexpected death of Antonin Scalia, the real battle for picking his replacement is just now getting started after President Obama nominated Merrick Garland as his choice to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Though as most people are well aware, pretty much since the news broke that Scalia had died, Senate Republicans have insisted that they’re not going to hold hearings for anyone President Obama nominates. They continue to claim that there’s a “precedent” for not allowing a president in his final year of office to replace a Supreme Court vacancy. Even though, in 1988, current Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed by the Democratic-controlled Senate in Ronald Reagan’s final year of office.
By nominating Garland, the president made the genius move of picking a centrist who’s been praised by quite a few Republicans. This forces them to answer why they’re choosing to play petty partisan politics instead of confirming a qualified nomination. That’s an issue which could cost them dearly this November.
On Thursday night, Trevor Noah ripped into Republicans for this nonsense, mocking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for citing a fictional rule (“the Biden rule”) in his defense of his blatant, partisan obstruction.
“Man, Mitch McConnell seems like a bit of a dick. Just in principle, not as a person,” Noah said.
He also went after Republicans who’ve said they want to give people a voice in the decision to replace Scalia this November by electing a new president.
“This is rich coming from McConnell,” Noah stated. “He’s saying, ‘Give the people a voice,’ but he’s silencing the one voice who the people chose. He’s so dug in on his partisanship he refuses to listen to reason.”
And he’s absolutely right.
It would be one thing if Scalia had died in August when the election was right around the corner and President Obama was in the last half of his final year in office.
But that’s not what happened. Antonin Scalia died on February 13 – with nearly 25 percent of President Obama’s second term left. Presidents are elected to four-year terms... not three. When the American people went to vote in 2012, they chose the president they wanted to serve for the next four years. And by doing so, they gave that president, Barack Obama, the right – as is stated in the Constitution – to nominate a replacement for the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Once again, Republicans are the ones ripping off taxpayers by choosing not to do their jobs.
Republicans are in a no-win situation. If they stick to their word and drag this all the way until the election, they’re risking infuriating voters who see them as obstructionists – a move that could cost Republicans their majority in the Senate. Not only that, but if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders win in November, they can choose a Justice who’s much more liberal than Garland. Right now they have some leverage to try to force a more moderate replacement for Scalia, something they might not have in a few months.
This is a huge gamble that, personally, I think is going to backfire badly for the GOP. And I cannot wait until it does.
Watch the segment below via Comedy Central:
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