The Senate has completed its dirty work of confirming Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court justice. Sen. Mitch McConnell, before the vote, smugly commented “the most consequential decision” he had ever made was deciding in February 2016 that the next president of the United States would appoint the person to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat on the court.
Where in the Constitution does it say that the majority leader in the Senate gets to decide which president will appoint justices to the court?
No statement could better expose McConnell’s moral bankruptcy. His unconstitutional decision in 2016 was a naked power play to ensure that Republicans would continue to have a court majority.
History will not be kind. McConnell first perverted the filibuster, making a maneuver intended for rare use in extraordinary situations the ordinary way of doing business in the Senate. Now, through his unconscionable refusal to give even a hearing to a Democratic president’s nominee, he has subverted the Constitution itself. What McConnell was really saying about his “consequential decision” was that from now on, only a president whose party has a majority in the Senate may make an appointment for the Supreme Court. So goes democracy in the age of McConnell and Donald Trump.
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Robert Emmett Curran