Democrats are calling for a now-vacant Supreme Court seat to remain empty until next year, when they hope Joe Biden is in the White House, but an attorney-writer says history is not on their side.
"There have been 29 occasions in U.S. history when there was a vacancy either in an election year or in the lame-duck session before the new president and new senate were seated," Dan McLaughlin told the “Washington Watch” program. "In all 29 of those cases, the president made a nomination, (and) in almost all of them, the president made a nomination very soon."
McLaughlin, who writes for National Review Online, went on to explain that the the only occasions when the president has waited until after the election happened because the senate was out of session. Meanwhile, he said, these are not recent occasions.
"Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR and Grant did it,” McLaughlin pointed out. "President Obama tried to do it.”
The attorney-writer went on to recall the “water under the bridge” in the U.S. Senate dating back to 2016, when the Republican-controlled Senate would not allow the nomination of Merrick Garland to move forward in Obama’s lame-duck term.
Democrats howled in protest when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the nomination, and then and now they claim the seat filled by Neil Gorsuch (pictured above) in 2017 “belonged” to Garland and was “stolen” from him.
Back in 2016, Republicans said the Supreme Court vacancy should remain empty and be filled by the incoming president. Today, those same Republicans say it is a different scenario because President Trump is still eligible for another four years in office and not a lame-duck president.
Asked about the accusations of a flip-flopping GOP, McLaughlin pointed out this is an election year, with the President’s party controlling the U.S. Senate, which means he will and he should get his way.
“Seventeen out of 19 times the President has gotten his way, and one of the other two was essentially a technicality,” McLaughlin explained. “Whereas, on the 10 occasions when the opposing party controlled the Senate, only one side of 10 times did the President get his nomination through."
Summarizing all of those historical court fights, McLaughlin concludes that history is, in fact, on the side of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP-led Senate.
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