At a Wednesday press briefing, President Donald Trump threatened to force both chambers of Congress to adjourn if they didn't expedite the process of confirming his judicial appointments.
He lamented that numerous cabinet positions had gone unfilled because Democratic senators were obstructing his judicial nominees—and he made a startling claim in the process.
Trump, Coronavirus Task Force hold White House briefing | 4/15/20 youtu.be
"Judges are a priority, a federal judge is gonna sit for 50 years potentially...that's always gonna have to be a priority, but because they're taking so much time and approving everything...when you talk about partisanship—and it's never ever happened before. You could look at every administration in the history of this country."
For those who have forgotten, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died near the beginning of 2016. Then-president Barack Obama exercised his Constitutional authority to nominate Judge Merrick Garland—a moderate—to replace him.
The Republican Senate—led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—refused to even bring a vote on Garland's confirmation to the floor. The Senate held a Supreme Court seat open for a year so that Obama wouldn't get to appoint the seat.
Their reasoning? The President shouldn't be able to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year.
McConnell has since said that if a Supreme Court seat opened in 2020, the Senate would allow Trump to fill that seat.
The Senate's efforts in 2016 were successful, and the seat wasn't filled until after Trump's inauguration when he appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch.
People uttered one name in response to Trump's claims that a judicial nominee being obstructed had "never, ever" happened before.
Trump is complaining bitterly about not getting judges approved. Dems have two words: Merrick Garland.— Chris Jansing (@Chris Jansing)1586990415.0
At the press conference now, Trumpâ��s railing & whining against the Democrats, fuming that they take too long to appâ�¦ https://t.co/m8SyDP2t9V— bethleslie13 (@bethleslie13)1586990587.0
Trump is complaining judges take a long time getting confirmed and I agree. Merrick Garland is still waiting on his approval.— Fluffy Pharmacist (@Fluffy Pharmacist)1586988283.0
Trump whining about judges the Dems wonâ��t approve. Boo hoo. Say it: MERRICK GARLAND.— Cyn G (@Cyn G)1586988007.0
Trump is upset at us Dems for not approving judges who are qualified. Merrick Garland would like a word.— Laurie Crosswell (@Laurie Crosswell)1586990266.0
In reality, Trump has appointed a record number of judges, and it will have negative effects on the judicial branch for decades to come.
The reason there were so many benches open in the first place? Mitch McConnell obstructed Trump's judicial appointments.
His hypocrisy didn't go unnoticed.
Trump says that the virus shouldnâ��t be politicized, yet he chooses the virus task force meetings to discuss politicâ�¦ https://t.co/FTxWewzIzb— J.P. (@J.P.)1586988530.0
Perhaps the President should ask why there were so many vacancies in the court system when he took office. The answâ�¦ https://t.co/fciYY2Ec9e— Hobbes ð��ºð��¸ (@Hobbes ð��ºð��¸)1586988322.0
The president would rather throw a tantrum about federal judges than save our country from a pandemic. There is oveâ�¦ https://t.co/z6fDGhxYbB— Aaron Vlasman (@Aaron Vlasman)1586988481.0
For a deeper look into the dangers of Trump's presidency, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.