Tags: 2018 Midterm Elections | Supreme Court | Trump Administration | chuck schumer | scotus | anthony kennedy | senate

Schumer: 'Height of Hypocrisy' If SCOTUS Set Before Midterms

Schumer: 'Height of Hypocrisy' If SCOTUS Set Before Midterms
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 June 2018 04:03 PM

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on his Republican colleagues to hold off on any confirmation vote regarding the next Supreme Court justice nominee until next year when the new Congress is installed.

Not long after Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he will retire from the bench next month, Schumer took to the Senate floor to convey his thoughts.

"Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016, not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year," Schumer said, alluding to the failed nomination of Merrick Garland to the nation's highest court.

"Millions of people are just months away from determining the Senators who should vote to confirm or reject the president's nominee, and their voices deserve to be heard now as [Senate Majority] Leader McConnell thought they should deserve to be then. Anything but that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy."

McConnell said Wednesday, however, the Senate will take up the next Supreme Court nomination in the fall.

Former President Barack Obama nominated Garland to replace the late Antonin Scalia, but McConnell flexed his muscles as majority leader by refusing to consider the nomination because it was a presidential election year. Garland's nomination expired after President Donald Trump took office, and he proceeded to nominate Neil Gorsuch — who was confirmed in April 2017.

The 81-year-old Kennedy is regarded as a right-leaning justice and was nominated to the court by former President Ronald Reagan. He has, however, sided with the liberal justices on some rulings.

Schumer said the future of healthcare "and countless other protections for middle-class Americans are at stake" with the next justice.

"This is the most important Supreme Court vacancy for this country in at least a generation," he said.

Here's a sampling of other liberal reactions to the Kennedy retirement news:

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law: "Justice Kennedy leaves a decidedly mixed legacy. His jurisprudence on gay marriage and LGBT equality are rightly seen as landmarks. Still, his Citizens United decision gravely undermined our elections, and he most recently missed an opportunity to rule against extreme partisan gerrymandering. He retires leaving our democracy plainly weaker than when he joined the Court. ... This will be one of the great constitutional fights of the country's history."

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Republican colleagues should hold off on any confirmation vote regarding the next Supreme Court justice nominee until next year when the new Congress is installed, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., preached Wednesday.
chuck schumer, scotus, anthony kennedy, senate, nomination, confirmation
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2018-03-27
Wednesday, 27 June 2018 04:03 PM
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