Then & Now: Obama and SCOTUS nominees

Obama loves to quote the Constitution – when it suits him.

Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama was quick to point out that it is part of the process for him to appoint a successor to the bench and that it would be unconscionable for the Senate to block the nominee from a vote.

That’s interesting, considering that Obama was a member of a Senate filibuster of Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  It made him the first President in history to have filibustered a SCOTUS nominee.  

In 2009, when as President he nominated Sotomayor to the bench, he expected a “clean process.” It’s just another example of his approach to working together – Let’s compromise and do it my way.

At the time of the Alito filibuster, Obama said he would “be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values, you know… We need a court that is independent and is going to provide some check on the executive branch.”

Interesting that he now scolds Congress on a regular basis when they try to do the same.  Oh, but I forgot – when it’s a Democrat controlled Congress, they are doing it to protect the republic; when it’s the GOP leading the charge against a Democrat President, it’s obstruction, shameful, disgraceful.  It’s peddling fear and hate.

You know what is disgraceful, Mr. President?  The way you clearly despise the Constitution of the United States.

You quote it when it suits you. But actions speak louder than words.  And your actions over the years have shown that you would love nothing more than to use our system of government against us to overturn as much of the checks and balances provided by the Constitution as possible.

You can thump your podium all you want.  You can scold like an angry professor. But at the end of the day, the limit of your Constitutional duty is to nominate and appoint.  But that in no way guarantees even a vote.  The Senate’s duty is to advise and consent.  If they do not consent, you are free to keep trying.

Take note that there were appointees during the first term of George W. Bush’s administration that were still waiting for an “up-or-down vote” when his second term rolled around.

If the Senate blocks you, it’s not because they are shirking their Constitutional duty, but precisely that they are upholding it.