"What I would expect from our Democratic friends is that the nominee be handled similarly to Clinton's and Obama's first two nominees in their first terms," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Jan. 31. "They were given up-or-down votes."
Is he kidding? How dumb does he think we are? Yes, we remember Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. But we also remember Merrick Garland.
Named by President Obama to the Supreme Court one year ago to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the universally respected Garland did not get an up-or-down vote. Nor did he get the opportunity to make his case before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Several Republican senators did not even extend him the courtesy of a handshake or meeting.
With Garland, Republicans argued there was no need to exercise their constitutional "advise and consent" responsibility because the court was functioning just fine with only eight members. And, besides, they said, totally rewriting the Constitution, the people, not the president, should decide who makes the Supreme Court appointment.