Even with bitterly partisan sensationalism setting the tone of the media coverage of the Supreme Court nomination, politics is still a business and business does go on. Diplomacy is one of the tools of the political business and it appears that good ol’ fashioned diplomacy is what President Obama is trying to fulfill his duty of selecting the next Supreme Court Justice.
The Hill reports Obama has personally called two Republican senators “to consult” about his Supreme Court nomination. The calls follow an exchange of op/ed pieces in the Washington Post by Senate leaders from both parties.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) went first on Feb. 15 and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) followed on Feb. 18.
In their jointly written opinion piece, McConnell and Grassley don’t mind their words. The gist of what the two powerful leaders are implying is their belief that there’s a good chance of a Republican being elected president. As such, their argument – rooted in the fact that the American people put Republicans in power in the Senate in the midterm election – is that Obama should simply postpone the nomination.
But, here are some facts that put this debate in perspective:
- Since 1900, 6 justices have been confirmed in a presidential election year.
- Every U.S. Supreme Court nominee in history has received a vote within 125 days.
- Since 1975, it's only taken an average of 67 days to confirm a president's nominee to the Supreme Court.
- Since 1875: Every Supreme Court nominee has received a Senate hearing or a vote
On Justice Kennedy’s confirmation, it was president Reagan who said: "The Federal judiciary is too important to be made a political football”, and we agree. It is the President’s and U.S. Senate’s duty to respect the rule of law and constitutional duties; they must act urgently to fill the vacancy.
Next up: Obama’s due diligence White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama will “begin poring over materials compiled by his advisers about candidates” over the weekend, reviewing “files contain information about their records and professional careers.”