The Corner

Politics & Policy

It’s Only Reckless Partisanship When the Other Guys Do It, Huh?

From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

It’s Only Reckless Partisanship When the Other Guys Do It, Huh?

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell should just give this speech:

We should not confirm any Obama nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances. They must prove by actions not words that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not . . . 

This is just a prologue considering the constitutional harm and dramatic departures that are in store if those few are joined by one more ideological ally. We have to, in my judgment, stick by the precepts that I’ve elaborated. I will do everything in my power to prevent one more ideological ally from joining Sotomayor and Kagan on the court.

That, of course, is a speech from Chuck Schumer from June 2007, with “Bush” replaced with “Obama” and “Roberts and Alito” changed to “Sotomayor and Kagan.” Watch the video; the audience at the American Constitutional Society gave it roaring applause at the end. No one booed. No one shouted this was an assault on the Constitution and rule of law. No one tore their hair out claiming that this was an obstinate ideological litmus test, and that it represented an assault on an independent judiciary.

So we’ve already established that in the minds of the American legal community, it is perfectly legitimate and fair for an opposition party to refuse to confirm a president’s nominees to the Supreme Court unless the nominee meets that opposition party’s definition of “mainstream.”

Goose, meet gander.

What’s more, Obama is particularly hypocritical here if he expects quick acquiescence to his selection; he’s the first president who voted to filibuster one of his predecessor’s nominations, Samuel Alito. Obama voted against John Roberts as well – you know, the chief justice who saved Obamacare twice.

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