Spare us the sanctimony, please. Did “literally half the Senate” contradict themselves on holding off election-year Supreme Court confirmations to let voters decide? Fact check: Mostly true. Also true: The other half of the Senate had to “break their word” on the necessity of a nine-justice Supreme Court and the Senate fulfilling constitutional duties, too.
Senator Pat Leahy is every bit a part of the same hypocrisy that he abhors in his statement during Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing:
Sen. Patrick Leahy says “literally half of the Senate” — his Republican colleagues — “had to break their word, contradicting every argument they made four years ago about the American people needing a voice during election year vacancies” https://t.co/uScvfX9o80 pic.twitter.com/qn719XfcZX
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 12, 2020
For an additional good measure of hypocritical sanctimony, here’s Dick Durbin accusing the GOP of a “shameless, self-serving, venal reversal.”
Sen. Dick Durbin says Republican senator backtracking on the view that a Supreme Court nominee should not be confirmed during an election year is “a shameless, self-serving, venal reversal.” https://t.co/287bRvyVxi pic.twitter.com/3DyHNdSFpl
— ABC News (@ABC) October 12, 2020
Durbin, one will recall, was one of the authors of Harry Reid’s nuclear option in 2013, using brute majoritarian power to eliminate the filibuster on judicial confirmations. That itself was a shameless and self-serving venal reversal of Democratic opposition to the same rule change in 2005 when Republicans threatened to use it against the blockade erected by Reid and Chuck Schumer against George W. Bush’s appellate-circuit nominees.
So among the 100 members in the upper chamber, the number of those who can speak to hypocrisy and “shameless, self-serving, venal reversal(s)” equal those who can hit a curve ball in the major leagues.
That hasn’t stopped anyone today from their sanctimonious posing, but at least Lindsey Graham gave a sideways acknowledgment to the true fundamental dishonesty of this Senate confirmation hearing. It applies to every such hearing in recent memory for Supreme Court justices, especially those from Republican presidents. We all know how the vote will turn out. The only mystery that remains is how much damage everyone will do to Barrett, each other, and themselves along the way. It’s “gonna be a long, contentious week,” indeed.
Senate Judiciary Cmte. Chairman Graham at Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearing: “I think I know how the vote’s gonna come out, but I think Judge Barrett is required for the good of the nation to submit to your questions and ours. This is gonna be a long, contentious week.” pic.twitter.com/pHlx77qc2g
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 12, 2020