President Obama is bringing the “Chicago Way” to the Supreme Court nomination process. Simply put, he is engaging in political extortion to force his will on the American people.
First, he floated the name of a Republican governor in hopes that it would cause a rift in the Senate majority’s principled stand against a rushed confirmation process in an election year.
Now, President Obama is vetting (read: intentionally leaking his potential nominee) one of his law school classmates in order to politically extort the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee into bowing to his will.
He is attempting to use a judge from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s home state of Iowa, as the Senator faces a tough reelection fight, as leverage to force him cave on confirmation hearings.
It’s a shameless shakedown. It’s the Chicago way.
But it’s not the American way. It’s not how the Constitution works.
Despite President Obama’s best/worst attempts, the looming Supreme Court battle is not about individual judges; it’s about principle. The American people – in an election year – deserve to have a voice in selecting the next Supreme Court justice.
It is the same principled position espoused by then-Senator Joe Biden (and many others on the Left) when he said, “[The President] should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not–and not–name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”
Senator Grassley has stood firm on his conviction and taken then-Senator Biden’s advice – “the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over” – to heart.
And he’s exactly right. Historical precedent stands firmly on the side of waiting to replace a Supreme Court justice in an election year until after the next President takes office – to ensure that the people have a voice in what is a lifetime appointment. As I’ve explained before, “It has not been since 1880 that a President of one party has successfully had a Supreme Court nominee confirmed by a Senate controlled by another party in a presidential election year.”
Despite President Obama’s contention otherwise, the constitutionally prescribed “advice and consent” of the Senate is not a rubber stamp. President Obama doesn’t have to like it, but the Senate has a role to play.
The American people (over 170,000 of whom have already signed our petition demanding no confirmation before the election) deserve a voice.
Extortion, shakedowns, and Chicago style politics is no way to select a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.