Republican senators are no longer even attempting to appear reasonable, sane, or like functioning members of Congress.
Instead, “key” Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee held a closed-door meeting on Tuesday morning, after which they emerged with a letter that unequivocally states the Senate will not hold a hearing for any Supreme Court nominee proposed by President Obama. They arrived at the decision unanimously.
Of course these obstructionist efforts were headed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and, in fact, today’s meeting was held in his office. According to Fox News reporter Chad Pergram, this was McConnell’s response to even meeting with a SCOTUS nominee: “I don't know the purpose of such a visit. I would not be inclined to take one.”
What a piece of human garbage.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TN) officially stated that, “We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame duck president.”
This argument, pushed again and again by Republican congressmen, is ridiculous. The American people already had a voice in appointing this nominee when they voted for President Obama in 2012.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declared that "there's no use starting a process that's not going to go anywhere and we are going to let the next president decide" in regards to a Senate hearing, according to Talking Points Memo.
As The Daily Kos puts it, “The gatekeepers of the federal judiciary are refusing to do their job.” They are relinquishing their Constitutional duties and this is essentially a seditious act.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid fired back with a hilarious letter demonstrating McConnell’s insane hypocrisy regarding Supreme Court hearings:
“Any attempt to deny confirmation on the basis of a philosophy, that is within the mainstream of American political and judicial thought, is an assault on this tripartite structure of government," said McConnell in 1990. "It is clear under our form of government that the advice and consent role of the Senate in judicial nominations should not be politicized."
Some GOP Senators are not completely on board with McConnell & co.’s plan, however. Senators Mark Kirk and Susan Collins of Illinois and Maine have both stated they would vote on nominees put forth by Obama.
“I also recognize my duty as a senator to either vote in support or opposition to that nominee following a fair and thorough hearing,” Kirk wrote in an op-ed for the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday. Collins gave a similar statement.
This fracturing of the GOP is all due to reelection—Kirk and Collins are both facing a tough reelection and low approval ratings. Yet whatever the reason, if enough Republican senators can stand up to McConnell’s obstinate obstructionism, at least they’ll be fulfilling the basic duties of their job.
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