Bench Memos

Re: Fighting the Wrong Fight

To add to Ed’s comments from yesterday, I was surprised to learn that FreedomWorks’s spokesman, Jason Pye, used an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune to gratuitously slam Senator Hatch as “someone who may be willing to surrender to President Obama on this vacancy.”  

Had Pye been paying attention to this debate, or had he even had a single conversation with any human being in Senator Hatch’s office, he would have known that Senator Hatch cares deeply about Justice Scalia’s legacy and that he has been on the front lines of the fight to give the American people a voice in the future of the Court.  As Senator Hatch wrote in an op-ed published by the New York Times:

Democrats have no credibility in lecturing Republicans on how to conduct the current confirmation process. Their recent actions only validate the rationale for waiting. From personal attacks on Republican committee chairmen to coordinated disruptions by professional activists, liberal pressure tactics belie any commitment to keeping politics out of the confirmation process.

Considering a nominee in the midst of a toxic presidential election would be irresponsible. Doing so would only further inject a circus atmosphere into an already politicized confirmation process. Conducting a thoughtful and substantive deliberation after the election is in the best interests of the Senate, the judiciary and the country.​

Does that sound like a Senator who is getting ready to cave under pressure from President Obama or Senate Democrats? 

I can see how someone might miss an op-ed published in the New York Times. But Senator Hatch also posted similar statements to his Senate website for all the world to see:

I think highly of Judge Garland.  But his nomination doesn’t in any way change current circumstances.  I remain convinced that the best way for the Senate to do its job is to conduct the confirmation process after this toxic presidential election season is over.  Doing so is the only way to ensure fairness to a nominee and preserve the integrity of the Supreme Court.​

I hope FreedomWorks, and any other group following its lead, will reconsider this approach and instead join us in holding Senate Democrats accountable for helping President Obama put another liberal on the Court.

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