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Senate Liberals Play ‘House’

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Did you hear the one about Democrats’ mock hearing on Justice Scalia’s replacement?  Don’t worry; no one else has either.

reidgarlandThe Democrats’ campaign to turn the Supreme Court decidedly liberal through the confirmation of Judge Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia has been an epic failure.  But a few radical liberals refuse to accept reality, preferring to pretend that the nomination is moving along.  As little children play mom and dad with their dolls, so some radical senate members, led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York), decided to have a pretend hearing on the nomination last week.

For a group calling for their colleagues to “do their jobs,” it’s incredibly ironic that they spend their time playing “House,” pretending to be having a hearing when everyone knows it is not a hearing.  The thing was a complete charade of monumental proportions, yielding absolutely nothing of value.  Zero.

If attention was what they were hoping for with their little stunt, they got some very bad news when they saw they were trumped by Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s release of his list of potential Supreme Court candidates.  And what a list!  But that’s a topic for another occasion.

Back at the Senate playdate, Senate Democrats basically got some friends of Judge Garland to come and sing his praises – which should have been easy to pull off.  But they couldn’t even get that right!  Someone had the brilliant idea to invite Abner Mikva, who is a former congressman, federal judge and White House Counsel for President Bill Clinton.   Only Mikva, like Vice President Biden, Sen. Schumer (D-New York) and many other Democrats, was for waiting to replace a vacancy in an election year until after a new president is elected, before he was against it.

In a 2002 Washington Post op-ed Mikva argued, “The Senate should not act on any Supreme Court vacancies that might occur until after the next presidential election.”  But, you know, that was when we had a Republican president so it’s completely different.  Still, it looks kind of bad on their part, so once the irony dawned on them, he was out of the game.  He didn’t show up for the hearing.

You know who also didn’t show up for the hearing?   Judge Garland.  I mean, it’s not a real hearing anyway, so of course he wasn’t going to be invited.  Wouldn’t want to waste his time.

What’s that?  Senators shouldn’t be wasting time either?  Well, no, that’s different, you know, it’s senators, and it’s totally different circumstances.  They are making a point.

You know what they say, if a point is made in the forest and no one hears it …

But they made some interesting points and very passionately.  Judge Garland is smart.  He is respected.  He has plenty of experience.

What’s that? No one has disputed that?  Well sure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) have been incredibly transparent in telling the president, even before he nominated anyone, that they believe, as many Democrats did when the table was turned, that the American people should have a voice in the type of justice they want at the Supreme Court as they select their next president of the United States.

It makes sense.  Justice Scalia was the most important proponent of judicial restraint and constitutionalism.  He advocated respect for the text of the Constitution and restraint in those areas where the Constitution is silent.  On the other side, the liberal Justices believe in a “living, breathing” Constitution that they can manipulate to fit their policy preferences.

Therefore, even when abortion is nowhere to be found in the Constitution, they are free to read it into the Constitution because they feel really, really passionate about it.  Then in a few more years, they’ll feel really, really passionate about something else and they’ll have the flexibility to read that into the constitution, too.  It’s very liberating.

It’s also lawless.

And, with this appointment, the Court will be tipped in one direction or the other for decades to come.  That’s the reality we are facing.

Then again, reality has nothing to do with pretend play, so I guess it’s fitting that these themes were not the focus of the Democrats’ mock hearing.