Despite what the Democrats, liberals, progressives, law school academics, and their ilk want you to believe, the Senate does not have to give a hearing to Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, nor do they have to vote on the nomination.
By refusing to have hearings or vote on the nomination, they are doing their job, not shirking their job.
Here’s what the Constitution says about Supreme Court appointments:
[The president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court …
By and with the advice and consent of the Senate …
The meaning is simple. In order to appoint a judge to the Supreme Court, Obama has to solicit the advice of the Senate. Did he, before nominating Merrick Garland? Doubtful.
A president should get the advice of the Senate and then take their advice into consideration when choosing the nominee. Otherwise, what happens?
The Senators aren’t going to “consent” to seating the nominee. It’s as simple as that.
The Constitution puts the Senate in the driver’s seat.
If advice is missing, then consent will not be given. If consent is refused, even if advice was given, the Senate still has done its Constitutional duty.
So then it’s back to the drawing board for the president. It’s not his choice alone, although we know how Obama wishes it were. He was recently quoted criticizing that pesky “separation of powers”:
President Obama said Wednesday it was “very frustrating sometimes for the president” … to have separation of powers in the U.S. government. …
“This makes it hard sometimes for America to change as rapidly as we need to to respond to changed circumstances or problems … It’s sort of like herding cats,” Obama said. “You’re constantly trying to get everybody to work together and move in the same direction at the same time, and that’s difficult.
Difficult, especially if your preferred method of rule is dictatorship.
If the Senate is not allowed to advise on an appointment, then why would anyone, even progressives, expect the Senate to consent to the nominee?
Where in the text is it written that the president simply selects his nominee, then hearings are held, and then–as Democrats and the media would like us to believe--the Senate MUST do its “job” and “consent” if the nominee is otherwise “qualified?”
The Senate must advise and the Senate MUST CONSENT, and it’s perfectly within their Constitutional power and right to refuse to consent, no matter if the nominee is qualified.
When Judge Scalia sadly left us, many in the Senate immediately advised Obama to hold off on a nomination and to let the next president fill the vacancy so that We the People will have a new say in the makeup of the Supreme Court. (A new say is necessary because of changed circumstances since the last presidential election in 2012.)
By advising Obama to hold off on a nomination, the Senators were following the advice of none other than Obama’s own Vice President, Joe Biden.
Obama did not take Joe’s advice, nor the Senate’s advice, and so he and his supporters should not be surprised when his nominee is neither considered nor confirmed.