Newly anointed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has promised to do everything he can to block whomever President-Elect Trump nominates for the Supreme Court.
“It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose, that would get Republican support, that we could support,” Schumer told Rachel Maddow on MSNBC Tuesday night.
“This delay has gone on long enough, it’s time for the Senate to do the job we were elected to do.”
“And so you will do your best to hold the seat open?” asked Maddow. “Absolutely,” Schumer responded.
Schumer’s statement heralds quite the hypocritical change of tune for the senator. Only this past June, Schumer was railing against such “obstructionism,” even going so far as to accuse Republicans of risking “judicial chaos” by blocking confirmation hearings for Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
“Senate Republicans need to do their job and give Judge Garland the hearing and vote he deserves because the American people deserve a fully functioning court,” Schumer said at the time.
“Having a deadlocked, 4-4 court could lead to judicial chaos surrounding environmental protections, voting rights, and so many other issues that are important to everyday Americans,” Schumer said. “This delay has gone on long enough, it’s time for the Senate to do the job we were elected to do.”
In May, Schumer singled out Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) specifically. “As this process moves forward, Sen. McConnell is going to find himself increasingly isolated in his obstruction. Ironically, the only two people he’s going to have in his corner are going to be Donald Trump and Ted Cruz,” Schumer said.
But it looks like Schumer is now in the same corner. Clearly, now that Trump will soon be president and it is he who will be choosing who replaces the late Justice Scalia, Schumer no longer feels that deferentially confirming the president’s judicial nominees is part and parcel of the job senators were elected to perform.
Of course, while Schumer’s about-face is somewhat understandable from a political perspective, his stunningly glaring hypocrisy is the exact kind of political knavery everyday Americans despise.
Apparently the Democrats have learned nothing from Trump’s victory — which was built entirely on his promise to end these types of political charades that for too long have been the rule of Beltway politics.