You often hear Democrats preaching compromise and middle ground stances, but when a conservative takes office all that mumbo-jumbo goes out the window. They start spewing hate.
By Lawrence Hurley
President Donald Trump was set to unveil his pick for a lifetime job on the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as Democrats, still fuming over the Republican-led Senate’s refusal to act on former President Barack Obama’s nominee last year, girded for a fight.
Trump said on Monday he would reveal his choice to replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016, at the White House at 8 p.m. on Tuesday (0100 GMT on Wednesday). The court is ideologically split with four conservative justices and four liberals, and Trump’s pick is expected to restore its conservative majority.
Three conservative U.S. appeals court judges appointed to the bench by Republican former President George W. Bush were among those under close consideration.
They are: Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Thomas Hardiman, who serves on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; and William Pryor, a judge on the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Democrats remain enraged over Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal last year to allow the Senate to consider Obama’s nomination of appeals court Judge Merrick Garland for the vacant seat, an action with little precedent in U.S. history.
Gambling that Republicans would win the presidency in the Nov. 8 election, McConnell argued that Obama’s successor should get to make the pick. The senator’s gamble paid off with Trump’s victory, but the court has run shorthanded for nearly a full year.
A Supreme Court justice can have influence in national affairs for years or decades after the president who made the appointment has left office. Some Democrats have said the Republicans stole a Supreme Court seat from Obama.
Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley vowed to pursue a procedural hurdle called a filibuster for Trump’s nominee, meaning 60 votes would be needed in the 100-seat Senate unless its long-standing rules are changed. Trump’s fellow Republicans hold a 52-48 majority, meaning some Democratic votes would be needed to confirm his pick.
“We need to fight this Constitution-shredding gambit with everything we’ve got,” Merkley said in a statement.