Eight days. Eight effing days!
That’s how many days there are until the election. And how many days did they make Merrick Garland make without even giving him the courtesy of an interview?
Let me say that again.
At the time the Republicans tried to make it seem like they were standing on some kind of principle. Allegedly it was the “Biden rule,” which they resurrected from a speech Biden made in 1992, in which he suggested that President Bush should wait until after the election to appoint a replacement, if a Supreme Court seat became vacant during the summer.
Of course, no vacancy ever occurred during the summer of 1992, so it was entirely a theoretical exercise.
Still, the Republicans wanted everyone to believe that they had set forth a great principle whose precedent had been set by our very own Vice President at the time, Joe Biden.
As Biden himself might say, “malarkey!”
But the depth of their hypocrisy could hardly be better demonstrated than in the contrast with the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. The Republicans have bent every conceivable rule, including proceeding with the Judiciary Committee vote even though no Democrats were present, as well as staying in session for the entire weekend, just to make sure that they could vote on Barrett today and get her seated in time to be able to rule on any contested aspects of the election.
As a number of the Democratic Senators noted, the new principle is apparently “because we can.”
That principle could lead to some unhappy results in the future:
- It could provide great temptation for the Democrats to engage in court packing, which they might be able to do if they gain the House, Senate and Presidency in 2020 (which they very well might).
- It may seriously impact the credibility of the court as a non-partisan institution. (Right now the court is much better regarded than either the Presidency or Congress, although it’s credibility has already been compromised.)
The Republicans are playing a dangerous game here, especially since they may have to repair themselves from top to bottom after their degradation through the last four years of the Trump presidency.