David Perdue: Senate Will Not Consider a Nominee for Supreme Court Until After Election

U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday on his decision to not consider a nominee to the Supreme Court before the next president is sworn into office in November:

“As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I stand with Chairman Grassley and other members in saying that we will not consider a nominee to the Supreme Court before the next president is sworn into office. We are already in the midst of a political campaign season, so any nominee will be seen through the lens of partisan politics. It is disingenuous for the minority party to say otherwise, and this is to the point that then-Senator Biden was speaking in 1992.”

Perdue is speaking of then-Senator Biden’s opinion that President George H. W. Bush should avoid a Supreme Court nomination until after that year’s election. He also brought attention to then-Senator Obama’s filibuster of Justice Alito’s nomination in 2006, making the point that his position is not new or unusual. The Senate has not confirmed a Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year to a vacancy arising in that year since 1932, and there has not been an election year nominee who was both nominated and confirmed under divided government, as we have now, since 1888.

Perdue stressed that the balance of the Supreme Court is in jeopardy, and the American people have been presented with a rare opportunity to decide the direction that the courts will take in the next generation. He believes that with the stakes this high, the people deserve the opportunity to engage in a debate over the type of jurist for this lifetime position by their behavior at the polls.

The role of the Senate is to rise above the “current political theatre”, Perdue believes, and that this is about “upholding the principle and not about the individual”. Thus, the Senate should not hold hearings or schedule a vote on any Supreme Court nominee until the next president is chosen and the people have had their say.

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Dave Bearsengamtns706davidmacbethebalanceAndrew C. Pope Recent comment authors
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edatlanta
edatlanta

The people did have their say in 2008 and 2012.

Sen. Perdue needs to say what his magic line is for when the POTUS loses his credibility. I’d like to think with nearly 25% of his term remaining that he still has some but I’m old fashioned so YMMV.

davidmac
davidmac

This POTUS, in the eye of Sen. Perdue, lost his credibility on January 21, 2009.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

“…any nominee will be seen through the lens of partisan politics…” This is such a B.S. line. By flat-out refusing to consider anyone nominated by President Obama you are casting this a partisan issue. He does realize that he has an opportunity to not cast this nomination in a partisan light, right? If you’re worried about the nominee being seen through the lens of partisan politics, STOP ACTING IN A BLATANTLY PARTISAN MANNER! Dollar General is wrong for bringing up President Obama’s filibuster of Justice Alito. Why? Because then-Senator Obama’s filibuster was based on Justice Alito’s qualifications and positions, not… Read more »

bethebalance
bethebalance

I can’t see the validity of this argument in 1992 or 2016 or ever. Everyone should just do their jobs. A nominee could be considered and rejected, or a nominee could be given no hearing, and efforts will be made to avoid the possibility of a recess appointment. But even a recess appointment would be temporary, and the next President and next Senate would have a do-over. So, where’s the long-term political fallout? Not there. The only risk here is that Senators will have to answer to the Senate with their presence, and present their vote/non-vote on the nominee to… Read more »

ngamtns706
ngamtns706

Thanks David! There is precedent for this. I’m sure the president and vp regret some of their past statements…

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

The 1932 reference is recent history, compared to there not being an 11 month long Supreme Court vacancy since the Civil War. The role of the Senate is to rise above the “current political theatre”… Perdue’s kidding, right? Expressing refusal before Scalia was cold is exactly political theatre, as ACP pointed out. Many figured Perdue would do nothing, and he’s not disappointing in that regard. Fair and balanced—you decide. A Dem or two talking about a hypothetical nomination decades ago is just like the GOP unanimously categorically refusing to even consider a nomination today. “Well, of course they’re the same.”… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Not that a simple yes or no question from me demands an answer from any of the GP GOP commentariat, but is the GOP as unanimous as the GOP members of the Judiciary Committee in opposition to considering any nominee?

I’m surprised at the unanimity of it.