House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) grew angry Thursday when a reporter mentioned a double standard for Democrats using congressional rules to block Supreme Court nominations in the past, saying, “Your point isn’t well taken.”
Pelosi briefly eulogized the late Supreme Court justice and fellow Italian-American Antonin Scalia at the outset of her briefing, and she then castigated Republicans for saying they would not act on President Obama’s nomination for Scalia’s replacement.
A reporter then brought up prior instances of Democrats going full-tilt against Republican nominations in the past, such as the blocking of Robert Bork, who was strongly attacked by Democrats when nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1987.
“As far as obstructionism is concerned, we can go back to the [Robert] Bork nomination, Priscilla Owen, as well as [Samuel] Alito, so as far as when different parties use the rules to their advantage … as far as one party being in the majority,” the reporter started.
“I get your point but your point isn’t well taken if I may be so bold as to suggest,” Pelosi said, interrupting. “I don’t remember anybody saying there the president should not appoint, and we will not even interview his appointee, we will not have a hearing. That’s what I’m talking about, obstruction.”
“But the parties, when they’re in the majority, use the rules to their advantage,” the reporter said.
“Look,” Pelosi said shortly. “The Constitution says that the president will nominate and the Senate shall act upon that nomination. To say we’re never going to interview anyone he names and we’re not going to have a hearing on the subject … flies in the face of what the intention was of Congress.”