With the shocking election loss of Hillary Clinton has come what Ben Shapiro calls “a full-scale meltdown of the American left.” Leading the pack is The New York Times. After railing against Trump and the Electoral College for seven weeks, they have turned their ire to the Supreme Court. First, they demanded a recount in Wisconsin. When that recount gave Donald Trump an additional 121 votes, they never reported the outcome. So now it’s on to the Supreme Court.
Here’s the thinking behind the Supreme Court accusation. Because the Republican Senate would not approve President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the paper reports, “No matter how it plays out, the person who gets confirmed will sit in a stolen seat. It was stolen from Barack Obama, a twice-elected president who fulfilled his constitutional duty more than nine months ago by nominating Merrick Garland, a highly qualified and widely respected judge.”
Because the Senate Republicans refused to vote on the president’s nomination, the Times suggests, anyone nominated by Trump will sit in a “stolen” seat.
I was one conservative who actually agreed that the Republican Senate should have voted on Obama’s nominee. I found their argument that the president was soon to leave office to be shallow. Having said that, what they did was consistent with the exact process supported by Democratic Vice-president Joe Biden when he was a senator in 1992.
As chair of the Judiciary Committee, he said that a Supreme Court vacancy “that would occur in the full throes of an election year” should require the president to avoid naming someone to fill the seat. The idea, said Biden, “is that once the political season is underway, action on a Supreme Court nomination should be put off until after the election campaign is over.”
Of course, Biden took that stance when a Republican was in the White House.
Still, The New York Times called the Republican logic, identical to Biden’s, “a patent lie.” They forget, of course, that it is well within the purview of the Senate to refuse a vote on anything it chooses. As Democratic leader of the Senate, Harry Reid made inaction a new art form.
Now, the Times is calling on Trump to re-nominate Garland himself, to honor Obama’s choice. Does anyone who lives in the real world think they would have called on a Democratic president to nominate a former Republican president’s choice – under any circumstances? And where were they when Mr. Biden took the very same path in 1992?
Whether the Republicans should have given Mr. Garland an up-or-down vote is still an open question. But Mr. Trump was not in office then. He had zero authority to nominate, recommend, or vote on a Supreme Court nomination. Now, as the incoming president, it seems the left considers any nomination of the new president to be “stolen,” simply because he won’t recommend a “centrist” (code for pro-abortion liberal).
Let’s keep it simple. Mr. Trump will have two choices. One – he can recommend a Supreme Court justice to fill the vacated seat, in fulfillment of his constitutional duties (just as Obama did). But in so doing he will be “stealing” a seat. Two – he can violate his constitutional duties for four years in an effort to placate The New York Times.
It’s a choice between the real world and the fantasy world of the left. Only in The New York Times is it newsworthy that a United States president would nominate a Justice to fill a vacated slot on the Court – and be hammered for doing so – before the nominee’s name is even known.
This would be more troubling if anyone still actually read The New York Times.