CNN host Wolf Blitzer called out the hypocrisy of Democrats to demand Senate Republicans give President Barack Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court a hearing and then vote for confirmation.
Earlier on Wednesday, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the seat left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland currently serves as the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, has maintained that Republicans must give Garland a fair hearing and confirmation vote.
Wolf pointed out past moves by both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
“When President Obama was a U.S. Senator, Congresswoman, as you know, back in 2006, he filibustered the nominee Samuel Alito, who’s now the Justice Samuel Alito, something he now says he regrets,” Blitzer said. “And when Vice President Biden was a U.S. Senator back in 1992, he said President Bush, and I’m quoting him now, ‘should consider following the practice of the majority of his predecessors and not, and not name a nominee until after the November election is completed.’”
“So if it was good for the Democrats then to make these kinds of statements during an election year in the case of Biden, why can’t the Republicans do that now?” Blitzer asked.
“Well, let’s be clear, when Barack Obama was filibustering, he had that opportunity because there was a nominee that was being given a hearing,” Wasserman Schultz said. “So, I mean, they have the perfect right to filibuster, to, you know, to debate it, to do anything they want, while letting the process unfold. But to suggest that they aren’t even to going to grant courtesy meetings to his nominee, to not have hearings, to not take this nominee through the process, vote the president’s nominee down if that’s what they choose to do.”
Wasserman Schultz also criticized what she called not following the Constitution.
“For a party that has a whole bunch of Republicans that say that they are strict constructionists—if you strictly read the United States Constitution, it is the president’s role to nominate a justice for an opening on the Supreme Court, and the Senate’s role to advise and consent. It is not in the Constitution to do that when they feel like it, to do it when they want to make sure that their, their, their presidential candidate is able to appoint one. It’s to just do it when there’s an opening,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Nothing in the Constitution says that the Senate must take action within a certain timeframe.