Despite his own fervent opposition to confirming then-President Barack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee in 2016, citing the imminent presidential election as an excuse, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) suddenly has no problem with going ahead with a Supreme Court confirmation to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week, with much less time to go until the next election. Early Monday morning, protesters with the Sunrise Movement assembled outside of Graham’s home in D.C., clanging pots and pans together and blasting Graham’s own 2016 comments through a loudspeaker.
In 2016, Graham said, “I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.” Could he have been any more unequivocal? And yet, he has now taken the exact opposite position. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he now says that he will support moving forward with a Ginsburg replacement.
Check out imagery from the early Monday protests outside Graham’s D.C. home below. It’s not immediately clear if he was actually home at the time.
Sunrise is giving Lindsey Graham the same treatment postmaster DeJoy got last month: Clanging pots and pans at his D.C. address. They've got his 2016 quote on blocking Merrick Garland looping through a speaker. https://t.co/LufFkz6Img
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) September 21, 2020
Activists Hold Early-Morning “Wake Up Lindsey Graham” Protest Outside Senator’s House https://t.co/gZnJmC8CMu
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) September 21, 2020
Protests continue outside Sen Lindsey Graham’s house this morning near the US Capitol regarding SCOTUS nomination process. Started at 6am pic.twitter.com/GS38uip8FE
— Steve Chenevey FOX5 (@stevechenevey) September 21, 2020
Graham blames Democrats for his own hypocrisy. He has cast his own support for moving forward with a Ginsburg replacement as some kind of punitive retaliation for Democrats’ insistence on seriously examining sexual assault claims against Brett Kavanaugh, one of Trump’s past nominees. On Twitter, for example, Graham recently posted:
‘Being lectured by Democrats about how to handle judicial nominations is like an arsonist advising the Fire Department. Democrats chose to set in motion rules changes to stack the court at the Circuit level and they chose to try to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s life to keep the Supreme Court seat open. You reap what you sow.’
Democrats chose to set in motion rules changes to stack the court at the Circuit level and they chose to try to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s life to keep the Supreme Court seat open.
You reap what you sow.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 20, 2020
So that’s what matters of imminent national importance are now, for Graham? Punitive retaliation-based games? Graham’s reference to the “stacking” at the Circuit Court level refers to the removal of the filibuster rule for Circuit Court nominees, which allowed those nominees to move forward with just 51 votes.