On Tuesday, while most of the world rewatched President Donald Trump’s performance at the United Nations, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders visited the couch at Fox News’ Fox & Friends with a message for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about the proper process for Supreme Court nominees.
“The president wants this process to come to a vote because that’s what’s supposed to happen. In every single one of these instances where someone is nominated, they go before, they have a hearing, and then the senators vote on it.”
Only Sanders’ message arrived over two years too late.
When Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, President Barack Obama considered his options for replacements. Then on March 16, 2016, Obama nominated moderate Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy.
But Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky—together with Republican Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa—blocked any Senate Judiciary Committee hearings from taking place and the full Senate from voting on the confirmation of Garland for the vacant SCOTUS position. McConnell cited it being an election year as the reason.
However his argument ignored past history. In November 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court. The Democratic controlled Senate held hearings and approved Reagan’s choice in February 1988, during an election year.
Statistics show one-third of all Presidents nominated a SCOTUS Justice during election years. Six Presidents defeated in their reelection bids and awaiting the end of their terms even nominated justices who were approved. Never before did such a blockage of an appointment occur.
Of course, Sanders did not appear of Fox News to admonish McConnell and Grassley for their false claims and delaying tactics that cost Obama his last SCOTUS pick and left the Supreme Court short a justice for 421 days. Sanders went to admonish Democrats for not immediately confirming President Trump’s latest SCOTUS pick, Brett Kavanaugh.
The apparent hypocrisy proved too much for people who blasted Sanders on social media.