Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Marcia Coyle, Do Your Job

Here’s an astounding passage (underlining added) from the lead paragraph of Marcia Coyle’s National Law Journal article yesterday:

Reactions on the left and the right to the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland on Wednesday boiled down to: “U.S. Senate, do your job and consider the nomination,” and “U.S. Senate, don’t do your job.”

Let’s set aside the fact that the Left’s newfound position that the Senate has some sort of constitutional duty to hold a hearing and have a floor vote is, as the Washington Post’s Fact Checker puts it, “a politically convenient fairy tale”—a fantasy that, as I’ve explained is textually baseless and contrary to more than two centuries of Senate practice. Even if Coyle somehow doesn’t understand this elementary point, how can she, in a news article, possibly think that “U.S. Senate, don’t do your job” fairly presents the conservative message?

We conservatives want the Senate to do its job—to exercise its discretionary power over the Garland nomination in a way that best advances the national interest. We believe that means taking no action on the nomination. Right and Left, to be sure, have very different understandings of how the Senate should do its job. But it’s, shall we say, a politically convenient fairy tale for Coyle to pretend that conservatives are telling the Senate “don’t do your job.”

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