Well what do you know? It was less than 10 years ago the Democrats were
trying to stop George W. Bush from nominating a Supreme Court Justice, calling him a lame duck president. The problem was that George W. Bush still had 17 months to go on his term versus the less than 10 months Obama has on his term.
|Two Sided Schumer|
Today during ABC’s “This Week,” Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer whined as Senate Republicans plan to prevent Barack Hussein Obama from appointing the successor to deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
It was less than a decade ago when it was Schumer advocating doing the same exact thing if any additional Supreme Court vacancies opened under former President George W. Bush durning his lame duck term.
Almost immediately after Scalia’s death was announced Saturday evening, Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates began arguing the appointment of his successor should be left to the next president. Schumer whined this outlook as pure obstructionism.
“You know, the kind of obstructionism that [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell ‘s talking about, he’s hearkening back to his old days,” Schumer said, according to The Hill. “In 2010, right after the election or right during the election, he said, ‘My number-one job is to defeat Barack Obama,’ without even knowing what Barack Obama was going to propose. Here, he doesn’t even know who the president’s going to propose and he said, ‘No, we’re not having hearings; we’re not going to go forward to leave the Supreme Court vacant at 300 days in a divided time.’”
“When you go right off the bat and say, ‘I don’t care who he nominates, I am going to oppose him,’ that’s not going to fly,” Schumer added.
But when George W. Bush was still president, Schumer did the exact same thing as McConnell is planning to pursue. During a speech at a convention of the American Constitution Society in July 2007, Schumer said if any new Supreme Court vacancies opened up, Democrats should not allow Bush the chance to fill it “except in extraordinary circumstances.”
“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,” Schumer said, according to Politico. “The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.” During the same speech, Schumer lamented that he hadn’t managed to block Bush’s prior Supreme Court nominations.
When Schumer he made his comments in 2007, Bush had about seven more months remaining in his presidential term than Obama has remaining in his.
But as they say, "Wait There's More!" David Bernstein from the Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blog:
Thanks to a VC commenter, I discovered that in August 1960, the Democrat-controlled Senate passed a resolution, S.RES. 334, “Expressing the sense of the Senate that the president should not make recess appointments to the Supreme Court, except to prevent or end a breakdown in the administration of the Court’s business.” Each of President Eisenhower’s SCOTUS appointments had initially been a recess appointment who was later confirmed by the Senate, and the Democrats were apparently concerned that Ike would try to fill any last-minute vacancy that might arise with a recess appointment.
The GOP opposed this, of course. Hypocrisy goes two ways. But the majority won.