When President Trump announced that he’d nominate a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Senate GOP leaders said they’d confirm her before Election Day, Democrats have been frothing at the mouth and crying foul, accusing Republicans of "double standards."
But when hearings commence on Oct. 12, Senate Democrats may be the ones guilty of double standards.
In a Twitter thread Sunday, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, raised the issue of whether Senate Democrats will respect what’s been called the "Ginsburg Rule" when Judge Amy Coney Barrett is questioned throughout the confirmation process.
During Ginsburg’s own 1993 confirmation hearings, presided by then-Sen. Joe Biden, the future associate justice refused to answer any questions as to how she might rule in hypothetical cases.
Cornyn said the committee should continue to observe that standard out of respect for Ginsburg, that: "A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of a particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process."
As late as February 2017 Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed with the Ginsburg standard.
The New York Democrat said, "There is a grand tradition that I support that you can't ask a judge who’s nominated for a — or a potential judge who is nominated — for a judgeship about a specific case that might come before them.”
Cornyn then asked, "Will the Senate Judiciary Committee apply the Ginsburg Rule to the confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett or will our Democrat colleagues apply a different, double standard?"
He then observed that "Justice Ginsburg was confirmed by a Senate vote of 93-3."
Different times, different temperament.
Since and even before Trump nominated Judge Barrett to fill Ginsburg’s seat Saturday, she’s been criticized a long string of imaginary shortcomings, including:
- Barrett is "too Catholic" (not sure what that even means)
- She has too many children (why do they never make that claim of men with large families?)
- She should never have adopted two transracial children from Haiti (she and her husband only saw children in need without regard to race; her detractors saw only race without regard to their need)
- She should have aborted her youngest, a special-needs child (every day is witness to new societal contributions made by those with Down Syndrome. As my friend Cheryl would say, "what happened to choice? So you’re only allowed 'choice'if you choose abortion?")
- Barrett will declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional (based upon a single sentence contained in a book review)
- People of Praise, a Bible study and prayer group Barrett belongs to, was the basis for "A Handmaid’s Tale" (even the far-left Vox calls foul on this one)
- Her decisions will be those of a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal (her approximate 100 well-reasoned Circuit Court opinions say otherwise)
California Democrat and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris even accused Barrett of being "Trump’s hand-picked successor to Justice Ginsburg’s seat."
To be clear, all Supreme Court nominees are "hand-picked," and it was formerly "Justice Ginsburg’s seat."
Now it’s an empty one that needs filling.
But the most enduring complaint is the one lodged against Senate Republicans — that their presidential-year confirmation of Barrett is hypocritical.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., refused to place Obama Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland up for consideration in 2016, a presidential election year. But is proceeding at full speed to confirm Barrett during this one.
However, a presidential-year appointment is only one-half of the equation; the other half is whether the Senate and White House are of the same or different parties.
In 10 of the 29 instances where a Supreme Court vacancy occurred during a presidential election year, the Senate and White House were of opposite parties. In "nine out of those 10 cases the nominee was rejected," Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, explained recently.
However, "19 times of those 29 there was not a divided government, In 18 out of 19 times, the vacancy was filled,” he continued. "We’re following the precedent that has been set and adhered to in most cases where a vacancy arises in a presidential election year."
As for Barrett, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., already said he would violate the Ginsburg standard and ask the nominee if she’ll recuse herself from any 2020 presidential election case. When he does, she should throw Ginsburg’s own words back at him.
"Were I to rehearse here what I would say and how I would reason on such questions, I would act injudiciously," Ginsburg told the Judiciary Committee on July 20, 1993.
"A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process."
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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