The reaction exposes a weakness in the continued liberal outcry over the Supreme Court seat that was supposedly “stolen” from Merrick Garland, former President Barack Obama’s ill-fated nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, even as Democrats invoke that precedent to argue for delaying confirmation hearings on any Trump nominee until after the midterm elections.
Perhaps Senate Republicans should have gone through the motions with hearings on Garland, a courtesy some future GOP nominee is now likely to be denied in the escalating Supreme Court wars. But they were never going to confirm him, as was their right under the Constitution. Outside of a tiny sliver of red state Democrats chasing Trump voters this fall, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s caucus was always going to vote against whomever this president selected, unless he somehow moved to shore up the liberal bloc.
Whether motivated primarily by overall judicial philosophy, results in cases concerning hot-button issues like abortion, or both, few senators are going to allow a Supreme Court seat to move right to left or vice versa without a fight.