Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made sure to put Democrats on notice as he opened the confirmation hearings for President Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
He wanted to make a couple of things clear right off the bat.
One, the blatant partisanship that has developed in the upper chamber over Supreme Court hearings and confirmation votes is unprecedented. For another, in the past Democrats and Republicans came together to generally support a president’s nominee as a matter of courtesy to the man who won the election.
And finally, the hypocrisy being shown by Democrats is scathing, obvious, and stupid, because the claim that Republicans are ‘packing’ the court simply by replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is senseless gaslighting that is only stirring up an already tumultuous electorate, especially since the late justice herself didn’t think so.
What can you say about Justice Ginsburg? She was confirmed 96 to three. Now, those were days that have since passed. I regret that. 96 to three. Now, this was a person who worked for the ACLU, someone who was known in progressive circles as an icon. Apparently, just about every Republican voted for her. Her good friend on the court, Justice Scalia, I think got 97 votes. I don’t know what happened between then and now, I guess there’s, we can all take some blame, but I just want to remind everybody, there was a time in this country where someone like Ruth Bader Ginsburg was seen by almost everybody as qualified for the position of being on the Supreme Court, understanding that she would have a different philosophy than many of the Republicans who voted for her.
After going over Barrett’s credentials, Graham talked a little bit about her philosophy:
She said, “I clerked for Justice Scalia more than 20 years ago, but the lessons I learned still resonate. His judicial philosophy is mine. A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.” She will give her statement. But I think that is a good summary of who she is. That’s who Amy Barrett is in terms of the law. In terms, Amy Barrett, the individual, she and her husband have seven children. Two adopted. Nine seems to be a good number.
Then Graham reminded his Democratic colleagues what Ginsburg once said herself about the process of nominating a Supreme Court justice — which, of course, is done by the president:
The process. This is an election year. We’re confirming the judge in an election year, after the voting has occurred. What will happen is that my Democratic colleagues will say, “This has never been done.” And they’re right in this regard, nobody’s I think has ever been confirmed in an election year past July.
The bottom line is, Justice Ginsburg, when asked about this several years ago, said that, “A president serves four years, not three.” There’s nothing unconstitutional about this process. This is a vacancy that’s occurred through a tragic loss of a great woman. And we’re going to fill that vacancy with another great woman. The bottom line here is that the Senate is doing its duty constitutionally.
If GOP voters think that what Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate are doing is wrong, they’ll voice their opinions at the polls. Meantime, just because Democrats don’t control the Senate and the White House does not make what is occurring today and the rest of this month regarding Barrett’s confirmation unconstitutional.