Right Hooks

Democrat Double Standards

Dan Gilmore · Feb. 23, 2016

To paraphrase William Shakespeare, the villany Democrats teach, Republicans will execute, and it shall go hard but they will better the instruction. It wasn’t so long ago that the power was flipped in the Senate.

George W. Bush controlled the White House and Democrats controlled the upper chamber from 2001 to 2003. Bush nominated 32 judges during that time. Not one of them even made it to the Judiciary Committee for a hearing. In 2005, Democrats — including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton — filibustered the nomination of Samuel Alito. That same quintet is now leading the chorus calling for the Republican-controlled Senate to do its “constitutional duties” and rubber stamp whomever Obama nominates.

When Bush had a year and six months left in his last term, Sen. Chuck Schumer said unless something extraordinary happened, the Senate shouldn’t approve any Bush nominee. Going back to the last few weeks of George H.W Bush’s administration, Biden said Bush shouldn’t nominate anyone until after the 1992 presidential election was completed — the same thing Republicans are saying to Obama. But now that he’s co-captain in the Oval Office, Biden conveniently insists, “Nearly a quarter century ago, in June 1992, I gave a lengthy speech on the Senate floor about a hypothetical vacancy on the Supreme Court. Some critics say that one excerpt of my speech is evidence that I oppose filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year. This is not an accurate description of my views on the subject.”

When members of the current administration occupied seats in the Senate, its views on the Senate’s role in the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice was robust. After all, the Senate offers its consent and advice, per the Constitution. But the Democrats' interpretation of the Constitution changes with the political winds.

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