Aided by the liberal mainstream media, Democrats have sought to prop up an ailing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, providing optimistic assessments about her recovery from a Christmas Eve surgical operation to remove cancerous growths from her lungs. However, those rosy predictions subsided after Ginsburg missed oral arguments for the first time in her 25 year career, and subsequently cancelled public speaking appointments up until early February.
While the rumors swirl regarding Ginsburg’s eventual return, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is ready to fill the next Supreme Court vacancy — whether it is Ginsburg’s seat or someone else’s — telling Fox News Sunday that he is “hell bent” on replacing the next opening with a qualified conservative candidate.
“I hope Justice Ginsburg serves for a long time,” Graham explained. “But if there’s an opening on this court, I’m going to be hell-bent to put a conservative to replace whoever steps down for whatever reason.”
Ready and waiting
As the new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham could play an essential role in confirming the next Supreme Court nominee. Graham made headlines — and more than a few new Republican supporters — when he lambasted Senate Democrats during the fractious Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings for trying to “destroy” the candidate’s life.
“Boy, y’all want power. God, I hope you never get it!” a red-faced Graham shouted at his liberal colleagues.
The last time Senate Democrats enjoyed the time of authority that Graham fears, they used their majority to undo long-standing Senate rules that required a 60-vote consensus to defeat a filibuster and confirm a federal judge. During his Sunday appearance with host Chris Wallace, Graham explained how Democrats helped create the current conservative majority on the high court.
“My Democratic colleagues felt when they were in charge we should confirm judges by a majority vote,” Graham said. “They changed the rules to accommodate President Obama. They tried to stack the court. They never thought [Hillary] Clinton would lose. So what you’re gonna have is Harry Reid’s and Chuck Schumer’s desire to stack the court on their Democratic watch has come back to haunt them.”
All bets are off
Democrats triggered the “nuclear option” in 2013, doing away with the 60-vote majority required to defeat a filibuster and nominate three of President Barack Obama’s picks for the U.S. Court of Appeals. Then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the move a “power grab” and a “sad day in the history of the Senate.”
However, Democrats opened the door for their Republican colleagues to use the same rule change to nominate conservative justices to the Supreme Court without any input from the left. Graham said that the Kavanaugh confirmation process proves that Republicans can expect “pushback from the left” regardless of whom Trump nominates.
“If there is an opening, whether it’s Ginsburg or anybody else, I will urge the president to nominate a qualified conservative and hopefully those people will get through – that person will get through,” Graham explained. “And I expect it to be along party lines, and this is what happens when you change the rules. This has come back to bite ‘ em. I predicted it would, and we’ll see,” he said.
Ginsburg is currently working from home after she had a pair of cancerous nodules removed from her left lung. Her doctors have said that there is “no evidence of remaining disease” and that “no further treatment is required,” although some medical experts have warned that these statements are intentionally vague and should not be interpreted to mean that the justice is cancer-free.
The liberal lion
Wallace asked his guest if it would be appropriate to replace Ginsburg, a progressive icon, with a staunchly conservative justice, and Graham explained that Senate Democrats forfeited their privilege to meaningfully take part in the confirmation process when Reid invoked the nuclear option:
They should’ve thought of that before they changed the rules. They tried to destroy conservative judges. I voted for [Sonia] Sotomayor and [Elena] Kagan, understanding what I was getting, so this decision by Reid and Schumer may come back to haunt them, but I am dead set on making sure it is a conservative nominee. And elections have consequences. The rules of the Senate were changed not by me, by them, and we had to do it on the Supreme Court because they would not give us any votes to nominate anybody. And Kavanaugh was a fine man, they tried to destroy him. All this is going to come back to haunt them one day.
Graham concluded: “We don’t need one Democrat to replace a liberal justice. And the reason that that’s the case is because of what Harry Reid did. What he set in motion.”