Just breaking on Twitter today, C-SPAN Tweeted a user-generated video clip of floor remarks from then Senator Joe Biden demanding that President George H.W. Bush refrain from naming a Supreme Court nominee because of the pending Presidential election.
From June of 1992:
There is so much to mine here that I’m going to give you the full transcript of the clip before I go on:
It is my view that if a Supreme Court Justice resigns tomorrow or within the next several weeks, or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush should consider following the practice of the majority of his predecessors and not, and not name a nominee until after the November election is completed.
The senate too, Mr. President, must consider how it would respond to a Supreme Court vacancy that would occur in the full throes of an election year. It is my view that if the president goes the way of Presidents Fillmore and Johnson and presses an election year nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until ever, until after the political campaign season is over.
And I sadly predict, Mr. President, that this is going to be one of the bitterest, dirtiest presidential campaigns we will have seen in modern times.
I’m sure, Mr. President, after having uttered these words, some, some will criticize such a decision and say that it was nothing more than an attempt to save a seat on the court in hopes that a Democrat will be committed to fill it. But that would not be our intention, Mr. President, if that were the course we were to choose as a senate to not consider holding the hearings until after the election. Instead it would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is underway, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. That is what is fair to the nominee and essential to the process. Otherwise, it seems to me Mr. President, we will be in deep trouble as an institution.
It hardly requires mention at this point how much the Democrats and their mouthpieces have invested in the storyline that Republicans are being historically evil in a totally unprecedented way over Obama appointing someone to fill Justice Scalia’s now-vacant seat. Yet here is Obama’s own Vice President making the case for us. Indeed, making the case for America.
It can scarcely be better said. And the best part? He doesn’t just say there should be no nomination. He goes right to the heart of what the Dems are sanctimoniously bleating about every day. “The Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings.”
So much for unprecedented. So much for uniquely anti-American. Sorry, Rachel Maddow, but your melodramatic “the end of the republic” pronouncements turn out to be just partisan hackery. We are all very surprised, I assure you.
And in case you forgot, Sen. Chuck Schumer was also caught on tape on the same subject, from a more recent situation.
“We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances. They must prove by actions not words that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not.”
Schumer not only showed the Democrats more than prepared to stop election year nominations, but also still proved Biden’s point about election year partisanship in the process, as he demands that nominees prove they aren’t conservative before he will even consider them.
This is what you call “the match.” As in, ‘game set and’. Your pretense at Constitutional holiness has been exposed as fraudulent, Democrats. You’re caught on tape. Again.