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.