Mixing metaphors again, figuratively speaking. I’m really looking at you, Republican senators. I include Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson in that mess, too. The stubborn response, no, pre-response, is ridiculous. Dig your heels in if you must, but don’t complain when your shoes get muddy. And if you insist on holding your breath until you turn blue, make sure there’s a pillow nearby when you collapse.
President Obama has filled his Constitutional responsibility. He has nominated a candidate to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the Republicans are pulling out their childish act again. The folks on the far right side in D.C. would like to refuse any candidate the President suggests. In fact, they plan to prevent this nominee from getting approved for the court by stalling. Standing still. Refusing to convene the committee that will interview, question, and eventually confirm or deny the nominee’s placement in the all-important judicial branch of the three ring circus that Washington has become.
Those on the right would like to postpone this appointment until after the next president is inaugurated. This way, they figure, they can elect a president of their choice and that president will nominate someone who leans right, far right.
Unfortunately for the tea party side, the president has precedent on which to act. Filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court in the last year of a presidency is rare, but not unheard of. Here’s a breakdown.
- In 1912, Taft nominated Mahlon Pitney.
- In 1932, Hoover nominated Benjamin Cardozo.
- In 1968, Johnson nominated once, twice, and then saw Earl Warren decide to postpone his retirement. That time, the situation was complicated.
Three times – not a huge number, but as these were the only three occasions in more than a century of presidencies, these three times set a significant precedent.
For the sake of unity, for the sake of cooperation, it’s time to get to work. If those on the rightest of right need a reason to let out their collective breath and move to the center for a little while, here’s one. Just think “What will Hillary do?”
Thanks to Politifact.com for providing the history behind the precedent.