Learn it, live it, love it.
That’s the new phrase that’s invading our political landscape as a result of President Obama’s insistence on nominating a new Supreme Court justice even as his time in the White House fades to twilight.
The nominee is Merrick Garland, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and former boss of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, but more on that later.
The Senate, and suddenly the Democrats are all about precedence, and it turns out there is precedence, which was all explained to us by the Veep and former senator himself, Joe Biden.
Hop in the time machine with us and travel back to 1992 when Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and explained to his colleagues in a floor speech that a different standard exists for Supreme Court vacancies “that would occur in the full throes of an election year.”
The president should follow the example of “a majority of his predecessors” and delay naming a replacement, Mr. Biden said. If he goes forward before then, the Senate should wait to consider the nomination.
“Some will criticize such a decision and say that it was nothing more than an attempt to save a seat on the court in hopes that a Democrat will be permitted to fill it, but that would not be our intention,” Mr. Biden said at the time. “It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is underway, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.
“That is what is fair to the nominee and essential to the process. Otherwise, it seems to me,” he added, “we will be in deep trouble as an institution.”
Whose nominee did Biden want to delay? That would be President George Bush the elder.
Gardner cited the Biden rule in a statement, in correctly explaining why the nomination should be delayed:
“Our next election is too soon and the stakes are too high; the American people deserve a role in this process as the next Supreme Court Justice will influence the direction of this country for years to come,” Gardner said.
A Supreme Court justice has not been confirmed to the bench in 80 years during an election year, and now all of a sudden, it’s Republicans who are playing politics, says Bennet.
Bennet would have us all support Judge Garland for the lifetime position, based on the unbiased factor that Garland was once his boss at the Justice Department.
Judge Garland has an excellent reputation and is eminently qualified. I worked for and with him at the Justice Department and have a firsthand appreciation for his extraordinary legal skill and respect for the law, Bennet said.
That pretty much tells us all we need to know.