Yesterday afternoon President Obama pressed forward with the tired liberal talking point that he must be allowed to ramrod a Supreme Court nominee through the confirmation process before the election.
This is in fact false. It flies squarely in the face of historical precedent. It has not been since 1880 that a President of one party has successfully had a Supreme Court nominee confirmed by a Senate controlled by another party in a presidential election year.
Of course, not to be outdone by the facts, President Obama once again asserted the false narrative that Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in the last year of President Reagan’s term in office as proof-positive that his own eventual nominee to the high Court should be forced to a vote in the Senate this year.
This narrative is demonstrably false and misleading to the American people.
As we’ve explained before, here’s what actually happened:
The vacancy filled by Justice Kennedy opened on June 26, 1987 when Justice Lewis Powell retired. President Reagan nominated Robert Bork on July 1, 1987. Senate Democrats strongly signaled opposition to a Bork nomination, but President Reagan nominated him anyway. After a months-long process, the Democrat-controlled Senate denied Bork’s confirmation on October 23, 1987.
President Reagan announced he would nominate Douglas Ginsburg, but this nomination was later withdrawn. Finally, Anthony Kennedy was nominated on November 30, 1987 and confirmed on February 3, 1988.
The vacancy was lengthy to allow the constitutional process to play itself out, the original nominee was blocked, and the Senate confirmed Justice Kennedy unanimously on February 3rd.
We are already past that point in this presidential election year, at a historic moment in which the Supreme Court’s ideological composition has never been more consequential.
Historical precedent strongly favors letting the people decide something so vitally important at the ballot box.
In fact, the example of Justice Kennedy’s confirmation – in which he was nominated the year before the election, based on a vacancy that arose nearly 16 months prior to the election, and only after two other nominees for the same seat had failed – provides strong evidence of the fact that historic precedent is firmly on the side of ensuring that the Senate’s co-equal constitutional role in the appointment of Supreme Court justices is upheld through a thorough vetting process and that the American people should play a vital role in selecting the next justice. That’s what’s at stake this election.
At the ACLJ, we’re demanding that our next President be the one to select the next Supreme Court justice and thus allow the American people to have a voice. If you agree, sign our petition today.
You can also contact your U.S. Senators directly though this helpful link and demand the American people have a voice in selecting the next Supreme Court justice.
This article is crossposted at RedState.com.
Take action with the ACLJ as we continue fighting for life and liberty. Make a tax-deductible gift today.
Today is a good day for the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. Moments ago, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch by a vote of 54-45 to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. From the time when Justice Scalia passed away last year,
Judge Gorsuch epitomizes everything a great Supreme Court justice should be. He is an originalist, textualist, and believes in upholding the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution, leaving the law making to the other branches of government. Every American and U.S. Senator of any political persuasion...
This week, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee for Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit represent a critical time for the Supreme Court and our nation. Judge Gorsuch is exceedingly qualified to fill the seat of the late...
President Donald Trump’s selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the United States Supreme Court fulfills his campaign pledge to nominate a conservative jurist to the Court. As this summary shows, consistent with this pledge, on both a substantive and linguistic level, Judge Gorsuch stands...