FLASHBACK: Biden Said Senate Had "Constitutional Responsibility" To Give Merrick Garland A Hearing Before 2016 Election

While not all hypocrites are politicians, all politicians are hypocrites at some point in their careers, but Democrats have turned the trait into an art form.

In fact, we suspect that being a hypocrite is actually a party requirement – one of those unwritten rules no one is supposed to find out about.


Case in point: The rank, blatant hypocrisy Democrats are expressing in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who succumbed to metastatic pancreatic cancer on Friday, thankfully dying peacefully in her sleep, according to family.

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During the waning months of the previous administration, constitutional originalist Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the most brilliant jurists ever to sit on the high court, died unexpectedly, giving then-President Obama the opportunity to seat three nominees before leaving office.

Only, the Republican Party led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky controlled the Senate – and McConnell wasn’t having any third Supreme Court nominee of Obama’s on a lifetime appointment after the two judicial activists he put on the bench previously (Justices Kagan and Sotomayor).

And the thing is, the Constitution lays out how justices are seated – presidents nominate, the Senate provides advice and consent…or not. There are no time requirements. And what’s more, there is no mandate that the Senate even has to take up the nomination of a Supreme Court justice. The Senate can, or it can pass. And McConnell chose to pass; he wanted to wait the roughly 10 months until the presidential election.

Why? Because, he said he believes that if the Senate and the White House are in the control of competing political parties, as it was in 2016, the chamber ought to wait. 

At the time, then-Vice President Joe Biden called such thinking, and McConnell’s hesitation, a “constitutional crisis” though now he says the Senate ‘must wait’ until after November 3.

During a speech at Georgetown University, Biden claimed Obama’s third nominee, U.S. District Chief Judge Merrick Garland, was imminently qualified and that the then-president did his “constitutional duty” when submitting his name to the Senate.

“Which makes this all the more perplexing,” he said. “Chief Judge Garland deserves a hearing just as a simple matter of fairness before we talk about the Constitution. But it’s also a matter of the Senate fulfilling its constitutional responsibility” (notice how a then more lucid Biden didn’t say ‘constitutional duty’ – because the Senate has no “duty” to provide advice and consent, especially since many previous judicial nominations were never acted upon and allowed to expire).

“And yet weeks ago, my friends – and they are my friends – the Republican senators announced that whomever the nominee might be, they intended to abdicate their responsibility completely.”

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He said by not acting, the GOP majority will create “a constitutional crisis.”

That’s a silly, even stupid, thing to say. Again, there is no constitutional requirement that the Senate “shall take up” nominations to the high court; in fact, the language of the Constitution is clear that no nominee ‘shall be appointed’ without the Senate’s advice and consent – and Biden knows this because he spent about century years in the Senate. 

Now, though, things have changed. It’s Ginsburg who has died, and it’s Trump who has the opportunity to appoint a third justice – and all in his first term. And it’s Biden who says the Senate has to wait, same as Obama.

Hypocrisy much, boys?


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