Sen. Mitch McConnell's bold move to admit Republicans have been lying all along about their opposition to judicial activism is stunning but refreshingly honest. We're now finding out that the nonpartisan "originalist" reading of the Constitution...is just the opposite.
McConnell declared there will be no hearings on President Obama’s yet-to-be-announced nominee. Pretty similar to the decision to oppose any and all of Obama's agenda when he was first sworn in. But this move peals back the lie about hating activist judges legislating from the bench.
CAP Action put together a long list of McConnell contradiction. Here are just a few:
In his 31 years as a senator, Mitch McConnell has argued that the Senate must fulfill its Constitutional duty and vote on a president’s judicial nominee at least 24 times. All of these claims are in direct contrast to McConnell’s refusal to hold hearings for to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
“My Republican colleagues and I honored Senate tradition. We followed the constitutional directive set forth in Article II, Section 2, that the Senate as an institution as reflected by the will of the majority of its Members, render its advice and consent on the President’s nominees. We put propriety over partisanship.” [3/9/2005]
“For the first time in history, a minority of Senators, on a repeated, partisan, and systematic basis, has prevented the Senate as a whole from discharging its constitutional obligation to provide advice and
consent on judicial nominations.” [3/9/2005]
“We need to recommit ourselves to the 200 year principle that in a democracy an up-or-down vote should be given to a President’s judicial nominees. It is simple. It is fair. It has been that way for over 2 centuries. And it’s served us well.” [4/14/2005]
“The stakes are high. The Constitution of the United States is at stake. Article 2, section 2 clearly provides the President and the President alone nominates judges. The Senate is merely empowered to give advice and consent, but our Democratic colleagues want to change the rules…. there would be the distinct possibility and in fact great likelihood, if this continues, that 41 Members of the Senate will dictate to the President of the United States who may be a member of the Supreme Court and other courts. We have made every effort to reach out and compromise, but our colleagues at least so far have refused. The only choice that remains is to hold a vote to reaffirm the traditions and precedents that have served this body so well for the last 214 years. Let us vote.” [5/19/2005]
For the first time in 214 years, they have changed the Senate’s “advise and consent’’ responsibilities to “advise and obstruct.” [5/19/2005]
By tradition, the President may consult with Senators. But the tradition of “consultation’’ does not transform individual Senators into co-presidents. We have elections for that, and President Bush has won the last two.” [6/9/2005]
“So even, you know, as you have a lame-duck president, there is a historical standard for fairness when it comes to confirming judicial nominees.” [7/14/2008]
No. 1, we should treat Judge Roberts with dignity and with respect. No. 2, we should have a fair process. And No. 3, we should complete that process with either an up-or-down vote in time for the Court to be at full strength for its new term beginning October 3 of this year.” [7/20/2005]