Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) has vowed to block any of lame-duck President Obama’s Supreme Court nominations.
The problem for Republicans will be to get through the left-wing media fog and explain things to the uninformed and the misinformed. Right now the media is telling people that Republicans’ actions are unprecedented. They are not.
To begin with, it has been 80 years since a lame-duck president appointed a SCOTUS judge. Also, there have been extended periods with only eight. It really isn’t a year without the ninth judge. The court typically winds down in a couple of months and then comes back for a few months in October. Not only have there been several lengthy Supreme Court vacancies, but there are plenty of past instances when senators refused to confirm a president’s nominations.
Here are 5 recent times Democrats were blocking Republican Supreme Court nominees, including once by Obama himself.
2. In 2006 then-Senator Barack Obama himself supported the Democratic-led filibuster to stop Justice Samuel Alito from making it to the Supreme Court.
3. In 2007, Sen Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that President George W. Bush shouldn’t get to pick Supreme Court justices because Schumer was afraid the bench leaned too far Right. Schumer made this remark a whole 19 months before the next president was inaugurated.
4. Ted Kennedy and others told so many lies about Ronald Reagan’s nominee Robert Bork that a new word came into the vocabulary–Borking. Joe Biden, head of the Judiciary Committee, even wrote a playbook for how to "bork" a Supreme Court nominee, a descriptive verb that now means to publicly pillory a nominee’s reputation to make it politically difficult for senators to vote for them.
5. After that, Democratic groups vowed to "bork" Justice Clarence Thomas, George H.W. Bush’s nominee to the Supreme Court. They failed, but the personal attacks on Thomas were brutal.