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The Democrats are trotting out Hillary and Bill Clinton to oppose the “indefensible” effort by President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to expeditiously nominate and confirm a Supreme Court justice before the upcoming election.
In response to a softball tossed by Meet the Press host Chuck Todd about the judicial confirmation system being broken, Clinton (of all people) accused Trump of a lust for power or cash.
“The system has been broken for quite a while, but clearly the decision that Mitch McConnell made back in 2016 in the midst of that presidential election, but at a much earlier time when Justice Scalia unexpectedly passed away is what should be the standard now…” Clinton claimed.
“You know, what’s happening in our country is incredibly dangerous. Our institutions are being basically undermined by the lust for power, power for personal gain in the case of the president, or power for institutional gain in the case of Mitch McConnell, at the cost of ensuring that our institutions withstand whatever the political winds might be, but they made this decision back in 2016 and they should be held to account for it.”
(Source: NBC’s Meet the Press)
Clinton also claimed without evidence that Trump’s judicial nominees, many of whom recommended by the Federalist Society, want to turn back the clock on civil rights.
It’s ironic that Hillary Clinton is lamenting a broken, polarized process given the way the Democrats basically broke it when they demonized Judge Robert Bork and smeared Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, among others.
Some years back, moreover, Democrat Senators filibustered a lower court nomination of highly credentialed attorney Miguel Estrada allegedly because he was Hispanic and a potential future Supreme Court nominee.
Democrats like failed presidential candidate Clinton are still nursing a grudge that Obama nominee Merrick Garland never got a vote from the Republican-controlled Senate after Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. The seat ultimately went to Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch.
Voters can decide whether and if hypocrisy applies to either or both parties when it comes to judicial nominations. In response to current criticism from the Democrats and the media, however, Republicans have insisted that the so-called Biden rule, a.k.a. the McConnell rule, about Supreme Court judicial confirmations in an election year, doesn’t apply when the same political party controls the Senate and the White House.
In 2016, Joe Biden — who chaired the Judiciary Committee during his time in the U.S. Senate — said that he would have considered a Supreme Court appointment in an election year if the president had consulted the Senate on the nominee.
Biden in 2016: SCOTUS confirmation can happen ‘a few months before a presidential election’ if Senate is involved in pick https://t.co/ySbcPK81cR
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 20, 2020
Ex-President Bill Clinton weighed in on the upcoming nomination in an exchange with Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union.
“Well of course it’s superficially hypocritical, isn’t it? Mitch McConnell wouldn’t give President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland a hearing 10 months before the presidential election, and that meant that we went a long time with eight judges on the court.
“This is what they do. I think that both for Sen. McConnell and President Trump, their first value is power, and they’re trying to jam the court with as many ideological judges as they can.”
Fmr. President @BillClinton on Sen. Mitch McConnell and President Trump attempting to fill RBG's seat: "Their first value is power and they're trying to jam the court with as many ideological judges as they can. … It's going to further spread cynicism in our system" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/d5bx6xeLk5
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 20, 2020
As members of his party often do, Bill Clinton appears to be engaging in projection, because both Clinton and Obama loaded up the federal judiciary with ostensible ideologically driven, left-wing activists.
During the Meet the Press appearance, Hillary Clinton claimed credit for recommending Ruth Bader Ginsberg — who passed away on Friday — to her husband when he was considering a nominee for a seat on the high court in 1993 after Justice Byron White retired.
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