Dennis Prager Interviews David Savage of the LA Times

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Dennis Prager interviews David Savage, washington bureau writer for the L.A. TIMES, about his article seemingly making last years Supreme Court pick by Obama, Merrick Garland, a centrist. While this isn’t the entire interview, it is the first two segments of this March 2016 interview.

In a thoughtful challenge on my FaceBook, the following conversation took place:

  • S.S. From what I’ve seen/heard of his testimony, they will never find a more objective one. He was outstanding.
  • B.M. I agree that Gorsuch is more then qualified. Unfortunately they’re hung up on Merrick Garland. And so it goes.

I respond a bit:

  • This is not the same B.M. Since FDR tried packing the court, both parties have not put forward a nominee to the court in the last year[-] of an outgoing President. Obama broke this tradition and so was rebuffed.

A great question by B.M. followed:

  • Was this a tradition or a rule?

Here are my more in-depth responses to the above…

It was not official, but was well known to both sides, and pushed most by Democrats — shown by Sen Biden in 1992 (called thereafter, the Biden Rule):

…..Biden contended this was not an attempt to play politics with the selection.

  • “Some will criticize such a decision and say it was nothing more than an attempt to save a seat on the court in the hopes that a Democrat will be permitted to fill it. But that would not be our intention, Mr. President, if that were the course we were to choose in the Senate — to not consider holding hearings until after the election. Instead, it would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is under way, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.”

In the case of Obama’s nomination of Garland, Democrats have argued that the Supreme Court seat should be filled immediately because the court needs a deciding vote.

Biden in his 1992 speech addressed that issue, saying that some people “may fret that this approach would leave the Court with only eight members for some time. But as I see it, Mr. President, the cost of such a result, the need to re-argue three or four cases that will divide the justices four to four are quite minor compared to the cost that a nominee, the president, the senate, and the nation would have to pay for what would assuredly be a bitter fight, no matter how good a person is nominated by the President, if that nomination were to take place in the next several weeks.”

(POLITIFACT)

So, by the breaking of this decorum, Republicans declined to move Obama’s nominee through the Senate, AGAIN, most recently based on the principle articulated by Sen. Joe Biden: that a Supreme Court Justice should not be confirmed in the last year of a lame duck administration.

…OH YEAH…

He [Biden] also called on the Senate not to schedule any confirmation hearings until after the election that year between incumbent President George H. W. Bush, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and independent candidate Ross Perot.

“It is my view that if the president goes the way of Presidents Fillmore and Johnson, and presses an election year nomination, the Senate judiciary committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”

(DAILY CALLER)

B.M. kindly noted:

  • Thanks for the education. Not being snarky, honestly didn’t know the origin of this.
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