Biden Rule does not exist

March 16, 2016

President Obama today nominated Judge Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, to succeed deceased SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia. By all accounts, he is a scholarly and moderate consensus builder who tends to be conservative on criminal cases. The Senate previously confirmed his appointment to the D.C. Circuit during the Clinton Administration.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of the Senate said today that the Republicans would not meet with or consider Judge Garland because President Obama is in the last year of his second 4-year term. He cites the so-called Biden Rule as justification for not complying with the Senate’s constitutional obligation “to advise and consent” regarding the president’s nomination.

No such rule or exception to carrying out the senate’s constitutional duty exists. In 1992, then Senator Joe Biden stated that he thought the senate should delay its constitutional obligation to advice and consent regarding a president’s nomination during the last year of President George H.W. Bush’s term. However, Senator Strom Thurmond, the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee overruled him and that was the end of that nonsense. The committee proceeded to forward the president’s nominee to the Senate for a vote. The Senate approved the nominee. His name is Anthony Kennedy and he now serves on the SCOTUS.

McConnell knows this and he knows his bullshit argument is based on a lie about a non-existing rule.

He and the rest of the Republican senators need to do their job. If they don’t, the voters should vote them out of office if they seek reelection after their present terms expire.

They are unfit to serve, given their refusal to carry out their constitutional duties, a violation of their oath of office.


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