Ed Board Round-Up: Do Your Job Senate GOP
Wednesday, February 17
It took only a couple hours for the death of a sitting Supreme Court Justice to become a political volleyball, spiked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's declaration that the "vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."
Maybe Mitch McConnell isn't totally aware of the Presidential and Senatorial duties laid out in the Constitution. Maybe he doesn't know how long a presidential term is. (Here, Mitch, we have a video that explains the whole thing!)
But Editorial Boards from across the country know how it works, and they're pissed. Here's what America is saying about Senate Republicans' deliberate obstruction of process on Supreme Court nominees:
Miami Herald: Sen. Mitch McConnell's act of contempt
There is no point in decrying the politicization of the judicial system in recent times. That ship sailed long ago. But it's one thing for lawmakers explicitly tasked by the Constitution to offer "advice and consent" to nominees for "judges of the Supreme Court" (Art. II, Sec. 2) to decide against someone for any reason, or none at all - and quite another to say they're not disposed to consider anyone named by the sitting president.
Madison Cap Times: Ron Johnson and GOP Candidates assault the Constitution
Yet Republican senators responded to the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia by proposing to shred not just the Constitution but precedents that date from the earliest years of the American experiment.
That would leave a vital position vacant for a year, which is absurd.
Of course, there is no notion too absurd for Johnson, who quickly echoed his boss.
NJ Star-Ledger: Republicans shouldn't play chicken with SCOTUS seat
This tramples on the Constitution that Antonin Scalia - the conservative diety who died Saturday - lived to defend. It also shows that GOP Senators, who have turned obstructionism into a dark art, would rather rewrite that Constitution than affirm their oath to uphold it.
Concord Monitor: In high court fight, Ayotte is just wrong
Ayotte's hastily issued statement, echoing what is now her party's line, says no decision should be made until the people speak by voting in November. But the people had their say when they re-elected Obama and when, in this case, they voted for Ayotte. She is not expresing the will of her constituents but the will of her party.
Philly Inquirer: Antonin Scalia and the limits of ideology
Rejecting or ignoring a qualified nominee would be much more difficult and potentially embarrassing to the Senate than claiming that some time-honored maxim won't allow it to fulfill its constitutional obligation until next year.
Chicago Sun-Times: Support Supreme Court hearings, Sen. Kirk
There are times in politics when, no matter what you decide, you're going to get hammered. For Kirk, this is one of those times. He might just as well be a statesman.
WV Register-Herald: Playing games with court vacancy
Thank you, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for once again confirming our worst fears about politics in our country. Your hypocrisy and cynicism know no retreat. But we would remind you, Senator, that the American people did have a voice. Twice.
Seattle Times: U.S. Senate needs to do its job on Supreme Court nomination
Thomas Jefferson and Scalia would've snapped their foreheads at the "delay, delay, delay" tactic endorsed by the leading GOP nominee for president, Donald Trump - which is itself a head-slapper of a phrase.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinal: President Barack Obama, Senate should do their duty
As much as Republicans may wish it were not so, the Constitution still says that presidents serve four years - not three - and it remains silent on when a president becomes a "lame duck."
Greensboro News & Record: Supreme opposition
Someone could just as credibly argue that Burr, who's running for re-election this year, should leave important votes to whomever the people of North Carolina choose for his seat in November. But that's absurd. Burr was elected to a full term; so was Obama.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Both Obama, Senate must do their duty in filling Scalia's seat
McConnell knows well that presidents can and do make appointments in their final year. He voted for one in 1988, when he joined with a Democratic Senate to confirm Anthony Kennedy in President Reagan's last year in office.
Omaha World-Herald: Constitution sets the process
Originalism is a sprawling set of legal theories with all kinds of ramifications that should be considered carefully. But one need not embrace the theory to understand the Constitution's succinct and straightforward language about filling Supreme Court vacancies.
Fargo InForum: Get moving on high court nominee
Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution is clear:
"... and he shall nominate, and by the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint... Judges of the supreme Court..."
Shall nominate. Shall appoint.
Posted by Jimmy