Hypocrisy & Power

John Phillips, October 12, 2020

On February 13, 2016 Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died, 270 days before the 2016 presidential election. On March 16, 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy. The Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold a confirmation hearings.

In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. He appointed to Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy and Gorsuch was confirmed on April 6, 2017.

Mitch McConnell in 2016:

“Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”

—from a Washington Post opinion piece by McConnell and Chuck Grassley, then Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“We think the important principle in the middle of this presidential year is that the American people need to weigh in and decide who’s going to make this decision. Not this lame duck president on the way out the door, but the next president.”

— McConnell on Fox News Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lindsey Graham in 2016:

“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.”

— Graham made this statement in March of 2016, during a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A New Vacancy the Court

On September 18, 2020 Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, 47 days before the 2020 presidential election. Today, October 12, 2020, 22 days before the election, with Mitch McConnell still the Majority leader and Lindsey Graham now the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, hearings have started to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg on the court.

What is the Lesson?

If they cared about truth or believed in the “will American people”, they’d stand by their earlier statements. If they had any confidence that Trump would win the election, they would “let the next president decide.” Instead, they rush to pack the court with another lifetime appointment, all while people are voting.

The Republicans don’t care about truth and they don’t trust the American people. They care only about power and their hypocrisy could not be clearer.