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WaPo: Three Pinocchios for declaring Senate’s “constitutional duty” to vote on Garland

Discussion in 'Political Debate & Discussion' started by Revmitchell, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 18, 2006
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    Glenn Kessler must have been amused … or frustrated. Hours before the identity of Obama’s pick was made known, Kessler had expertly dissected and discarded the notion of a Senate “duty” to provide a floor vote for a Supreme Court nomination, especially in an election year. In fact, Kessler in his fact check discovered that the precedent runs opposite, and goes back 200 years:

    In August 1828, Justice Robert Trimble died just as President John Quincy Adams was battling a tough reelection campaign against Democrat Andrew Jackson. Adams ended up losing to Jackson, but in December nominated Kentucky lawyer John Crittenden to replace Trimble. (Recall that before passage of the 20th Amendment in 1933, the presidential inauguration did not take place until March.)

    Supporters of Jackson opposed this lame-duck nomination, leading to a debate of nine days on the floor of the Senate. Supporters of Adams’s maneuver argued that it was a duty of the president to fill vacant slots, even in the waning days of a presidency. They offered an amendment on the floor:

    “That the duty of the Senate to confirm or reject the nominations of the President, is as imperative as his duty to nominate; that such has heretofore been the settled practice of the government; and that it is not now expedient or proper to alter it.”

    But this amendment was rejected in a voice vote and then the Senate voted 23-17 to adopt an amendment saying “that it is not expedient to act upon the nomination of John I. Crittenden.” … According to the Congressional Research Service, “By this action, the early Senate declined to endorse the principle that proper practice required it to consider and proceed to a final vote on every nomination.”

    In giving the claim of “constitutional duty” three Pinocchios, Kessler called claims to the contrary a “fairy tale”:

    Nearly 200 years ago, the Senate made it clear that it was not required to act on a Supreme Court nomination. In periods of divided government, especially with elections looming, the Senate has chosen not to act — or to create circumstances under which the president’s nominee either withdrew or was not considered. … Democrats who suggest otherwise are simply telling supporters a politically convenient fairy tale.

  2. Kevin

    Kevin Active Member

    Aug 13, 2010
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    Lets see if they have the backbone to actually take a stand against obamo all the way to next year