Ad hoc principles

The Senate Republicans yesterday formally announced that they’re refusing to do their job.

President Obama, don’t even bother.

That was the clear message from Senate Republicans on Tuesday as they decided to formally ignore any nominee the president appoints to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee—the panel responsible for vetting court picks—emerged from a private meeting Tuesday afternoon and declared there was a “consensus view”among them not to grant an Obama nominee a hearing, much less a vote, before the presidential election. The committee members then sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell putting their decision in writing.

They should be impeached. They’re violating their goddam oath to uphold the Constitution.

McConnell’s second-in-command, Senator John Cornyn, said members of the Judiciary Committee were “unanimous” in their view that there should no hearing for Obama’s nominee. “The reason for that is, it’s not about the personality, it’s about the principle,” Cornyn said.

There is no such “principle.” It doesn’t exist. They’re making it up, aka lying.

It’s not a surprise, Russell Berman goes on, they said all along they wouldn’t, but it wasn’t clear at what point they would refuse to do their job. Would they hold hearings and then say No?

Or would they ignore the nominee altogether rather than risk giving an otherwise qualified person an opportunity to make their case in public? On Tuesday, they confirmed they would follow the advice of conservative activists, who are urging senators to avoid any discussion of the merits of Obama’s choice and stick to the principle that because the presidential campaign is already underway, the public should decide who gets to replace Scalia on the court.

That’s not a “principle.” The presidential campaign is always underway, and there is no rule or practice about not filling a court vacancy during a campaign.

I guess not lying isn’t in the Book of Republican Virtues.

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