You’ve got to love the hypocrisy of the Republican party: those so called ardent Constitutionalists who adhere to the strictest meaning and intent of the Constitution, except when they don’t.
After a closed door meeting on Tuesday between top Republican leadership and Mitch McConnell, McConnell released a statement vehemently declaring,
Presidents have a right to nominate just as the Senate has its constitutional right to provide or withhold consent. In this case, the Senate will withhold it. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter after the American people finish making in November the decision they’ve already started making today.
This seems like a stark contradiction to McConnell’s statements in 2005 when speaking on this very subject in “States News Service”, McConnell wrote,
The Constitution of the United States is at stake. Article II, Section 2 clearly provides that the President, and the President alone, nominates judges. The Senate is empowered to give advice and consent.
Although to be fair, in McConnell’s mind he made these statements when hero, patriot, and all around great American George W. Bush was President, and not the Evil Mad King Obama, whose endgame is to appoint a radical socialist Supreme Court Justice who would shred the Constitution, make President Obama emperor for life, and outlaw baseball and apple pie just for good measure.
All of that nonsense aside, the fact of the matter is (and we all know how much conservatives hate facts) that Article 2 Claus 2 of the constitution clearly states,
He[The President] shall have the Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Councils, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
Keep in mind the word “Shall” in this context means the President is constitutionally bound to nominate a Supreme Court Justice in the event of a vacancy and Congress is constitutionally bound to at least seriously consider all nominations put before them, to do otherwise is to be in dereliction of their duties as public servants.
It seems that if Republicans really venerate the Constitution as passionately as they so often claim, they would fulfill their constitutional obligation to take the nomination process seriously and not once again play political Russian Roulette with the very fabric of our country at stake.
Featured Image Courtesy Of Russell_S via Flickr