Lindsey Graham Changes His Mind on Confirming SCOTUS Nominees Because of Kavanaugh Hearings
On Monday, in a letter addressed to the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, Chairman Lindsey Graham explained that the way their party treated now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings was one of the reasons he decided to back President Trump’s decision to appoint a new court nominee, despite it being an election year.
Graham began by mourning the loss of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and then explained why the situation today is different than in 2016, when the GOP-led Senate blocked then-President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Chairman @LindseyGrahamSC to Committee Democrats: “After the Treatment of Justice Kavanaugh I Now Have a Different View of the Judicial-Confirmation Process” https://t.co/qzXgSbgW8S pic.twitter.com/IWAclmrQED
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) September 21, 2020
Graham explained in the letter that the way the Democrats treated Kavanaugh changed his mind and made him realize that the Democrats have a pattern in the way they treat Republican nominees, and that if it were a Democrat president making the nomination with a Democrat-led Senate, they would proceed with the confirmation vote, election year or not.
The letter reads:
Dear Senators Feinstein, Leahy, Durbin, Whitehouse, Klobuchar, Coons, Blumenthal, Hirono, Booker, and Harris,
Like millions of Americans, I was shocked and saddened to hear of Justice Ginsburg’s death. Justice Ginsburg served honorably on the federal bench and was a trailblazer for women in the law. She will be missed.
When the American people elected a Republican Senate majority in 2014, Americans did so because we committed to checking and balancing the end of President Obama’s lame duck presidency. We did so. We followed the precedent that the Senate has followed for 140 years: since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee during an election year.
Because our Senate majority committed to confirming President Trump’s excellent judicial nominees—and particularly because we committed to supporting his Supreme Court nominees—the American people expanded the Republican majority in 2018. We should honor that mandate. Also unlike in 2016, President Trump is currently standing for reelection: the people will have a say in his choices.
Lastly, after the treatment of Justice Kavanaugh I now have a different view of the judicial-confirmation process. Compare the treatment of Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh to that of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, and it’s clear that there already is one set of rules for a Republican president and one set of rules for a Democrat president.
I therefore think it is important that we proceed expeditiously to process any nomination made by President Trump to fill this vacancy. I am certain if the shoe were on the other foot, you would do the same.
Lindsey O. Graham
The letter follows Graham’s tweets Sunday, stating that “Being lectured by Democrats about how to handle judicial nominations is like an arsonist advising the Fire Department. Democrats chose to set in motion rules changes to stack the court at the Circuit level and they chose to try to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s life to keep the Supreme Court seat open. You reap what you sow.”
Democrats chose to set in motion rules changes to stack the court at the Circuit level and they chose to try to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s life to keep the Supreme Court seat open.
You reap what you sow.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 20, 2020
The danger of giving an inch to the Left is they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal, no matter what it takes. Any goodwill one tries to build with them is worthless. Good for Lindsey Graham for finally realizing that.