Should the Senate vote on the Supreme Court nominee from lame duck pro-abortion President Barack Obama? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says no and Vice President Joe Biden agrees with him — at least the 1992 version of Joe Biden.
As Democrats attack Republicans for pledging not to vote on any Supreme Court nominee Obama names, they ought to keep in mind this unearthed footage of Biden opposing any vote on a nominee from President George Bush.
“It is my view that if a Supreme Court justice resigns tomorrow or in the next several weeks or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush 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,” then-Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Joe Biden said on the floor of the upper chamber in 1992.
Biden’s statement is at odds with his criticisms of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who like Biden has said this year that the next president, not Obama’s, should name the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s successor. And it suggests that New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s pledge to block any hypothetical Bush nominees in 2007 was in keeping with a long-standing Democratic tactic.
Schumer insisted last week that Republicans were going a step too far by contemplating a refusal to consider any nominee that Obama might proffer. “They have a constitutional obligation to hold hearings, conduct a full confirmation process, and vote on the nominee based on his or her merits,” he said.
But Biden said the opposite in 1992. “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 after the political campaign season is over,” he said.
After Scalia’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will not take up a vote on a replacement for deceased pro-life Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia until after the presidential election.
Such a promise prevents pro-abortion President Barack Obama from selecting a third pro-abortion Supreme Court justice to follow Sonia Sotomayor and Elana Kagan, both of whom are thoroughly committed to unlimited abortions and upholding Roe v. Wade.
Democrats have been aggressively lobbying McConnell and other Republicans to change their mind, but McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley, an Iowa senator, are budging.
Leading pro-life advocates agree the Senate should not vote on Scalia’s replacement until after a new president has been selected.
National Right to Life president Carol Tobias says, “The vacancy should be filled by the president who is elected on November 8, 2016.”
“Certainly, the Constitution gives President Obama the authority to nominate a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia – but the Constitution also makes it clear that the vacancy will endure until the U.S. Senate gives “consent” to a nominee. There are various ways that the Senate may refuse to consent, including inaction on a nomination, which is what should occur in this case,” she says.
Tobias continued: “That is because this is not primarily about the professional credentials of a particular nominee – it is about who decides whether unborn children will be protected, whether religious liberty will be protected, and whether the free-speech rights of groups out of favor with the liberal elites will be protected (among other things).”
Tobias says the stakes are monumentally high for pro-life voters and that waiting to vote is critically important to unborn children:
There is little doubt that the next Obama nominee would provide the fifth vote to strip elected legislators of all meaningful authority to protect unborn children and regulate abortion. The result would be invalidation not only of recently enacted state abortion laws, such as the abortion clinic regulations currently before the Court, but also of a host of longstanding state and federal pro-life policies, including the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Hyde Amendment.
In addition, there is little doubt that another Obama nominee would be the fifth vote to effectively nullify statutory and constitutional protections against mandatory participation in paying for or providing abortions, and the fifth vote to strip away the First Amendment protections that the Court has recognized for independent speech about those who hold or seek political office.
Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest told LifeNews, “His loss is tragic, and we hope that when it comes time for the Senate to vote on his replacement, that a worthy successor who can pick up his banner can be found after the election.”
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel: “With the passing of Justice Scalia, the future of the High Court and the future of America is hanging in the balance. The Senate must not confirm any nominee to the Supreme Court from President Obama. The Senate must hold off any confirmation until the next President is seated. Unfortunately the presidential debates have been more theater and less substance about the real issues surrounding the Supreme Court. The election of the next President has now taken on even greater importance. The future of the Supreme Court and America now depends on the Senate blocking any nominee by President Obama and the people electing the right person to occupy the White House.”
One of the names being bandied about today by experts on the high court is pro-abortion Attorney General Loretta Lynch.