World reknown United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lost her decades long battle to metastatic pancreatic cancer on Friday1, leaving behind a vacant seat for the third time under the Trump administration with a Republican dominated Senate. Naturally, there is chaotic outrage erupting across the Democrat party2. Unfortunately, the Democrats set themselves up for this exact situation.
In 2013, the Democrat ran Senate voted to change its rules to prevent the minority party from filibustering any nominations to the Supreme Court3. Senate Majority Leader at the time, Harry Reid4 (D-NV), triggered the “nuclear option3,” allowing a change to Senate rules by majority vote.
The Hill reported at the time in November of 20135, “It will allow all three of President Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to go forward, as well as his nomination of Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to lead a housing regulatory agency.
Obama praised the action6. “The gears of government have to work and the step that a majority of senators took today I think will help make those gears work just a little bit better,” he said in a statement from the White House briefing room.
Reid said the change was necessary to get the Senate working again7.
“It’s time to change the Senate before this institution becomes obsolete,” Reid said on the Senate floor.
“The American people believe Congress is broken. The American people believe the Senate is broken. And I agree.””
Back in 2016, when this type of situation arose after Justice Scalia’s passing8 opened a seat in the United States Supreme Court the Justice Ginsburg publicly called on the Senate to go through with the nomination9. “That’s their job,” she said in July 2016. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the President stops being President in his last year.”
Democrats were very adamantly committed to adhering to the Constitution in filling the vacant seat as quickly as possible:
According to mrcTV in 201810, “When the “nuclear option” was first used, then Senate minority leader and now majority leader, Mitch McConnell11, proclaimed a warning to the Democrats. “You’ll regret this,” he said. “And you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.””
The procedural motion is known as the nuclear option12 because critics warn this change of rules would obliterate bipartisan relations in the Senate. The Democrats are livid that their own attempt at making all three branches of our government being biased Left leaning partisans, completely blew up in their faces. After the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it will now be a gamble that will have backfired three times under the Trump administration.
The hypocrisy of both parties that are being appropriately preached from each side are ultimately irrelevant. The Democrat party cut off their nose to spite their face because at the time, it was beneficial for them. Now they’re trying to change the rules when their own change is working against them, screaming in a unified outrage13 over the current Republican ran Senate “ignoring her fervent wish14 on her deathbed”. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
To be brutally honest, in a truly altruistic manner, she could have decided to retire when the Democrats had the Senate; she was already old, had cancer, led an incredible life15, and had spent a considerable amount of time as a Justice– someone truly able to retire respectfully. She, however, wanted to keep her seat until the cancer took her1, and she did. The timing happened to be unfortunate for her party, but it is no fault of hers (I’ve seen crazy videos of Liberals blaming her for dying16..). Some may believe it was selfish of her, but it was her choice to make.
My final note– it was absolutely disgraceful that Chuck Schumer tweeted about her vacant seat before her body was possibly even cold yet17 (McConnell tweeted condolences mixed with his political statement after that). Senator Schumer’s condolences tweet was a generic afterthought that seemed mostly meant for exploiting her death to politically charge Democratic constituents. It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle they’re on, to me that is shamefully inappropriate timing; for someone who claims she was a friend, it is additionally unimaginably disrespectful.