The Senate’s Ridiculous Democratic Grudge

When a vacancy comes about in the Supreme Court, it is the responsibility of the President to put forward a nominee he feels would be a good replacement. After a replacement is nominated it is up to the Supreme Court to take a vote on whether that individual should be the new justice. The last four justices were confirmed in an average of 75 days. We are currently in the middle of the longest period in recent history that a justice has waited to be appointed to the Supreme Court. On March 16, 2016 President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia. Although Garland is a very moderate choice, the Republican controlled Senate refuses to take a vote on any name President Obama puts forward. They have vowed to only take a vote once the new President takes office.

As election day draws closer, many are left wondering if the Senate regrets their decision, because it doesn’t appear that Donald Trump is going to be able to pull off a win for the Republican party. Furthermore, Clinton could very easily nominate someone much more liberal to fill the open seat. We are now finding out that the Republican Senators already have a plan if this is the case, and that is to keep blocking the nomination. In an interview on October 17th, John McCain said ““I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up.” This kind of behavior is not only unheard of, it robs the Constitutional process of picking a Supreme Court judge of any legitimacy. These Senators are acting as if only Republican Presidents should have the right to choose justices. 

It’s understandable to want your party to be successful in elections and maintain power, but throwing a tantrum and dividing the nation is not the way to do it. If the Senate refuses to appoint a judge for a Democratic President, shouldn’t Democratic governors be able to deny laws passed by the Republican controlled Senate? When the most powerful leaders of our nation feel they can stray from the Constitution and start making up their “own rules,” they open the door for others to feel they can do the same, which just causes more polarization in the political process.

It’s too early to know if the Republicans will stick to their guns, let alone if they will keep a Senate majority. If they do block another judge, they risk sparking a Constitutional crisis that could lead to loss of authority for the Supreme Court, and public backlash.

Editor's Note: The opinions and beliefs expressed throughout this article do not represent Her Campus Utah or Her Campus on a national level.