What Republicans Said About Supreme Court Nominations During George W. Bush’s Last Year

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tags: Supreme Court, Scalia, SCOTUS

Related Link NYT News Story:  Senators Limber Up for a Dexterous Flip on Judicial Nominees

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

“[The idea that July 2008 would trigger the] Thurmond Rule ­­– that’s just plain bunk.  The reality is that the Senate has never stopped confirming judicial nominees during the last few months of a president’s term.”

Today, Grassley says that “The fact of the matter is that it’s been standard practice over the last nearly 80 years that Supreme Court nominees are not nominated and confirmed during a presidential election year… it only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court Justice.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

“There’s no excuse for not considering and voting upon a well­ qualified judicial nominee in the United States of America today…  [J]ust because it’s a presidential election year is no excuse for us to take a vacation.  And we’re here.  We’re ready to go to work.”

Today, Alexander says that “it is reasonable to give the American people a voice by allowing the next president to fill this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

“[N]ow is the perfect time for a new politics of judicial confirmation to arise where Republicans and Democrats work together to confirm qualified men and women to the federal bench.  Now is the perfect time because, of course, we’re in a presidential election year and no one yet knows who the next president will be.  What a unique opportunity to establish that regardless of the next president’s party, the nominees will be treated fairly and on the basis of their qualifications, and not on the basis of ancient political squabbles.”

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

“I think it’s clear that there is no Thurmond Rule.  And I think the facts demonstrate that.”

Today, McConnell is leading the charge for an expanded Thurmond Rule. “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” he said, immediately after Scalia’s passing.

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