Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s body was barely cold before the partisan sh*t hit the fan.
During a time when most politicians and pundits were offering condolences to the late supreme court justice’s family, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) decided to do what he does best. Mess up the president’s ability to get anything done.
The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.
McConnell went on to add that GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill would go as far as to actually block any Supreme Court nominee the president put forward. To justify this course of action, he cited the little known “Thurmond Rule”, a Senate tradition dating from the 60s that basically gives a Senate majority party the ability to keep a president they don’t like from filling a vacancy in the Supreme Court during the last few months of his final term in office. The rule has been invoked by both GOP and Dem party members.
It’s also a pretty clear example of how nutty our political system has gotten. A man standing up in 1968 and saying “I don’t like this guy” is enough to infringe on one of the President’s most important privileges. Not only that, but it’s enough to set a precedent for over half a century for other people to do the same thing. And now it’s being used against an administration that’s still almost a year from being out the door.
Fortunately, we have John Oliver to tell us how incredibly stupid this is. Included is this gem:
It seems the ‘Thurmond Rule’ is a lot like God, when things are going your way you don’t bring it up a lot. But as soon as you’re in trouble it is all that you talk about.
Watch the whole clip below.