While liberals continue to circulate and praise the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s “fervent wish” that her seat isn’t filled until after the November election, they have not been as eager to share what she thought about filling vacancies to the nation’s highest court before the 2016 presidential election.
When the GOP blocked former President Obama’s pick of Merrick Garland to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat through Republican-controlled Senate, Ginsburg instructed them to proceed with reviewing the nomination.
President @realDonaldTrump on the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
“She was a legendary figure.” pic.twitter.com/LZTcL44TRR
— GOP (@GOP) September 21, 2020
Most Democrats Believed The 2016 SCOTUS Vacancy Should Have Been Filled Before The Election
“That’s their job,” Ginsburg said to The New York Times. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”
Then-President Barack Obama said basically the same thing in 2016.
“When there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court, the president is to nominate someone, the Senate is to consider that nomination'” Obama said. “There’s no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off-years.” That’s not in the Constitution text.”
Obama in 2016: "When there is a vacancy on the SCOTUS, the President is to nominate someone, the Senate is to consider that nomination. There's no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off-years. That's not in the Constitution text."
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) September 19, 2020
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Biden Said In 2016 That Not Appointing A SCOTUS Justice Could Result In A ‘Constitutional Crisis’
Not surprisingly, 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden is now saying filling Ginsburg’s vacant SCOTUS seat should wait until after the election, though in 2016, the then-vice president believed that blocking Garland might result in a “constitutional crisis.”
Hillary Clinton also believes the nomination process should wait – but that’s not what she necessarily thought about Garland’s appointment four years ago.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said before the 2016 election, “Every day that goes by without a ninth justice is another day the American people’s business is not getting done.”
Senate Democrats have agreed: The Supreme Court needs 9 justices to function properly.
“Every day that goes by without a ninth justice is another day the American people’s business is not getting done.” -Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, September 2016
— GOP (@GOP) September 21, 2020
The Republican National Committee shared a video on Sunday with examples of what Democratic leaders were saying in 2016 about filling a seat during an election year.
Not long ago, Joe Biden said that “the American people deserve a fully-staffed court of nine.”
Fill the seat! pic.twitter.com/K8GpnAMEly
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) September 21, 2020
Cruz Agrees With Biden (Four Years Ago) – Failure To Nominate A Justice Could Lead To A ‘Constitutional Crisis’
Sen. Ted Cruz – similar to Democrats in 2016 – worries that an eight-member court hading into the election could pose a “constitutional crisis.”
“Democrats and Joe Biden have made clear they intend to challenge this election,” Cruz said Friday on Fox News “Hannity.”
“They intend to fight the legitimacy of the election,” he said. “As you know, Hillary Clinton has told Joe Biden ‘under no circumstances should you concede, you should challenge this election.’”
.@tedcruz is right:
"@realDonaldTrump, next week should nominate a successor to #RBG, it is critical that the #Senate takes up and confirms that successor before election day" || via @seanhannity pic.twitter.com/4UWdrDeCYr
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) September 19, 2020
“And we cannot have Election Day come and go with a 4-4 Court,” Cruz told Sean Hannity.
“A 4-4 Court that is equally divided cannot decide anything,” the senator continued. “And I think we risk a constitutional crisis if we do not have a nine-justice Supreme Court, particularly when there is such a risk of … a contested election.”
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