Right Hooks

Senate Holds the Line on SCOTUS

Thwarting any Obama attempt at a recess court appointment.

Political Editors · Aug. 30, 2016

In the wake of the surprising death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia this past February, there was much concern among conservatives as to the possibility and even probability that the balance of the court would swing to the Left, since Barack Obama was in position to appoint his replacement — he nominated Merrick Garland, a reliable leftist. The GOP Senate for once quickly rejected the notion that a lame duck president would be allowed to so impact the High Court’s balance mere months before his presidency was to end. But would the GOP that had so often promised to stand up to Obama only to wilt under the heat of the critical Leftmedia do so again this time?

So far the answer is an encouraging “no.” With most of the media’s attention focused on presidential polls, it might be easy to miss the fact that the Senate GOP has stuck to its commitment. The Senate broke for summer recess in July, but the GOP has maintained a pro forma session. Twice a week a single law maker gavels the Senate into session, reads a brief announcement and sets the next meeting time. It takes all of 30 seconds. In other words, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Co. have been practicing a bit of political gamesmanship. As McConnell’s spokesman Don Stewart said, “This will ensure there’s no recess appointment of the president’s nominee. The Supreme Court has our back on that one.” Conservatives have a rather unusual source to thank for the tactic currently being employed by the GOP. After all, it was then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who crafted and implemented this same strategy against George W. Bush. In any case, the future of the Supreme Court is far too critical to entrust to either Obama or his chosen successor, Hillary Clinton.


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