The New York Times was called out online for an op-ed bemoaning Republicans taking Barack Obama’s Supreme Court seat, reminding the editorial board it was not stolen, it was “Bidened.”
Following the death of Antonin Scalia, video quickly surfaced of then Sen. Joe Biden in July 1992, during the administration of President George H.W. Bush, arguing that it would be unfair to a Supreme Court nominee and the process itself to consider a potential justice to the high court during the presidential election season. Incidentally, Bill Clinton was running against Bush that year.
“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,” Biden said.
“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.” Biden’s party was in the majority, and he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, so his pronouncement carried the weight of a decree.
nominee for a stolen seat —>>> The Biden Rule. He set the precedent. —> https://t.co/uFdVBkq8aQ
— little sweet tweets (@Lil_SweetTweets) February 1, 2017
Further, now Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, also a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated in July 2007, nearly a year-and-a-half before the presidential election, “We should not confirm any [George W.] Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances.”
Schumer argued that Bush had already successfully placed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito on the court and adding another conservative justice would shift its balance.
If these arguments sound familiar, they are exactly the points Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans quoted right back to their Democratic colleagues following President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland last March to fill the seat left open by Scalia’s death.
The New York Times editorial board appears to have selective memory about this history in its op-ed entitled, “Neil Gorsuch, the Nominee for a Stolen Seat.”
“It’s been almost a year since Senate Republicans took an empty Supreme Court seat hostage, discarding a constitutional duty that both parties have honored throughout American history and hobbling and entire branch of government for partisan gain,” the editors argue.
This opening line is in fact false. It has been nearly 80 years since a president has successfully nominated a justice to the Supreme Court during an election year. That occurrence was during the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when the Democrats controlled both the presidency and the senate.
The last time a senate held by the opposite party of the president allowed a Supreme Court nominee to go forward was the 1880s.
The Times board writes that Trump could have chosen a moderate candidate, presumably in the mold of Obama’s pick Garland, but, “Instead he chose Neil Gorsuch, a very conservative judge from the federal court of appeals for the 10th Circuit, whose jurisprudence and writing style are often compared to those of Justice Scalia.” In other words, Trump chose exactly the type of justice he pledged to during the campaign.
The editors continue, “By himself, Judge Gorsuch would not upset the court’s balance on abortion rights or affirmative action, but if one of the more liberal justices or Justice Anthony Kennedy step down during Mr. Trump’s presidency, a solidly right-wing majority could quickly overturn those precedents.”
They conclude, “Mr. Trump’s failure to choose a more moderate candidate is the latest example of his refusal to acknowledge his historic unpopularity and his nearly three-million vote loss to Hillary Clinton.”
The Twitchy Team called out the New York Times selective memory, labeling it a hypocritical “temper tantrum.”
NYT throws ‘temper tantrum’ over nomination of Neil Gorsuch to ‘stolen seat,’ gets reminded of the ‘Biden Rule’ https://t.co/WemoSwTCp4
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) February 1, 2017
Twitchy argues that the Times has forgotten the “Biden Rule” despite reporting on the senator’s 1992 comments just last year. Twitchy’s clear implication is if the shoe were on the other foot, a Democratic senate would have done exactly what the Republicans did, in the hopes their candidate prevailed in the fall. It also seems conceivable that the Times would not have written its op-ed attacking Clinton’s nominee as filling a “stolen” seat.
Twitchy concludes: “And there you have it: Not stolen, ‘Bidened.’”
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