It was about Senator Mitch McConnell's hypocrisy regarding Supreme Court nominees. In 2005, with a Republican White House he said that:
Any President’s judicial nominees should receive careful consideration. But after that debate, they deserve a simple up-or-down vote.Now that "a year left in the term of a Democratic president" (as Senator Elizabeth Warren pointed out) he's calling for a delay.
At the end of the blog post, I posed a question to our Republican Senator, Pat Toomey:
Senator Toomey, does president Obama have the constitutional authority to nominate someone to the Supreme Court NOW or should he defer to Senator McConnell and let the question be settled LATER by the next president?Well my friends, it seems we have an answer:
The current vacancy on the Supreme Court, following the tragic death of Justice Antonin Scalia, however, presents an unusual context. In the final year of a presidency, it is common for vacancies that arise on the Supreme Court to await the outcome of the next election. Given that we are already well into the presidential election process and that the Supreme Court appointment is for a lifetime, it makes sense to give the American people a more direct say in this critical decision. The next Court appointment should be made by the newly-elected president.Actually it's not that common. And Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed during an election year in 1988.
As to whether the President has the constitutional authority to nominate someone, Toomey is clear (but look at what follows):
President Obama insists that he will nominate someone for the Court. He certainly has the authority to do so. But let's be clear - his nominee will be rejected by the Senate.[Emphasis added.]Sight unseen, he'll reject the nominee. Remember what McConnell, Toomey's republican boss in the Senate said in 1988? That any nominee should receive careful consideration and then an up or down vote. Now with his statement, Senator Toomey is saying that President Obama's nominee won't even get that.
And we have reactions from Toomey's Democratic rivals.
Braddock Mayor John Fetterman:
John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock and also a candidate for the Democratic nomination to challenge Toomey this year, issued a short statement regarding Toomey's decision.Former Wolf Chief of Staff Katie McGinty:
"While not surprising, it is nevertheless disappointing that Sen. Toomey chose partisanship over patriotism."
He also took shots at Toomey on Twitter, saying the American people did have a say in the process when they reelected President Barack Obama in 2012.
Protecting abortion rights was something Katie McGinty, former chief of staff for Governor Tom Wolf, stressed in her response to Toomey.And retired Navy Admiral Joe Sestak:
“Toomey’s partisan decision makes it clear he wants a Supreme Court that would take away a woman’s right to choose, continue an assault on women’s health care, attack and destroy health care reform and continue to allow dark money in politics," she said in a statement.
She also lashed out at Toomey's comments about politicizing the nomination process, saying that's exactly what he's doing.
“William Penn said that ‘To delay Justice is Injustice,’" Former congressman and U.S. Navy Admiral Joe Sestak said in a statement. "It is time for Pat Toomey to fulfill his duty to the people of Pennsylvania and vow to quickly consider a new Supreme Court Justice rather than marching lockstep with partisan obstructionists in Washington, D.C.Feel free to contact the Democratic candidate of your choice and donate or volunteer or whatever.
The anti-science torture apologist who's sitting in the US Senate representing Pennsylvania must be voted out of office.