By Randy DeSoto. Video which recently surfaced of top Democrats talking about the Senate’s role in judicial appointments appears to hand Republicans game, set and match the debate whether Justice Antonin Scalia should be replaced this year.
C-Span tweeted video from 1992 on Monday of then Senator Joe Biden admonishing the Senate not to move forward on any potential nominees to the Supreme Court because it was a presidential election year.
“It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is underway — and it is — action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over,” Biden said in June of 1992. “That is what is fair to the nominee and essential to the process.”
“It is my view that if a Supreme Court justice resigns tomorrow, or within the next several weeks, or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not — and not — name a nominee until after the November election is completed,” the senator stated . . .
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 22, 2016
In 1992, Sen. Biden argued that not only should the Senate not vote on a nominee, it probably should not even go forward with a hearing in committee. “It is my view that if the president goes the way of Presidents Fillmore and Johnson, and presses an election year nomination, the Senate judiciary committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over,” he said. (Read more from “Watch: Obama May Not Be Able to Replace Scalia After This Rare Footage Was Just Discovered” HERE)
Supreme Court Holds First Session After Justice Scalia’s Death
By Pete Williams. Chief Justice John Roberts began Monday’s Supreme Court session — the first since Antonin Scalia’s death — with a tribute.
Roberts noted that the black drapery on Scalia’s chair and his spot on the bench “signifies a period of mourning the loss of our friend and colleague.” The seat will remain draped for roughly the next month.
It was a somber and emotional return to business for the court which is expected to hear 10 cases over the next two weeks, include a challenge to restrictions on Texas abortion clinics on March 2. Scalia’s unexpected death earlier this month brought the future of the court’s ideological makeup into sharp relief as a partisan showdown over his replacement on the bench looms.
Monday, however, was a day of reflection for the court . . .
Roberts noted — to laughter in the courtroom — that Scalia “argued his first and only case before the Supreme Court in 1976. He prevailed, establishing a perfect record before this court.” (Read more from “Supreme Court Holds First Session After Justice Scalia’s Death” HERE)