Hypocrisy is running rampant on the left these days, and former President Barack Obama is no exception.
Within hours of the news breaking that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died at age 87, Obama stepped in to join Democrats who are calling for the nomination of her replacement to be delayed until after November’s presidential election, The Hill reported.
Tit for tat
After Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016, months before the election won by President Donald Trump, Senate Republicans — led by Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — blocked confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, who had been nominated to fill Scalia’s seat by then-President Barack Obama, The Hill noted.
Now, Obama says he wants McConnell to apply the same standard here.
“Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in,” Obama wrote in a statement following Ginsburg’s death, according to The Hill.
“A basic principle of the law — and of everyday fairness — is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment,” the former president added, as The Hill reported. “The rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the fundamental workings of our democracy all depend on that basic principle.”
“We will keep our promise”
McConnell, for his part, has said the situation is different now. In 2016, Republicans held the Senate, while a Democrat held the White House. Now, both are held by the same party: the GOP.
“Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year,” McConnell wrote in a statement Friday, according to Fox News.
Since that’s not the case this time, the majority leader says Trump can move forward with naming a new justice to fill Ginsburg’s spot.
“Americans re-elected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary,” the Kentucky Republican wrote in his Friday statement, according to Fox. “Once again, we will keep our promise. President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
President Trump has also received the support of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who said in a series of tweets Saturday that he will back “any effort” by Trump “to move forward” on a replacement for Ginsburg, Breitbart reported.
According to the BBC, the president indicated Saturday that he could announce his pick as soon as this week.