North-JerseyNews.com

Gov. Phil Murphy Denounces “Rank Hypocrisy” of GOP Senators

Gov. Phil Murphy called out the “rank hypocrisy” of GOP Senators when it comes to the appointment of a Supreme Court justice in the wake of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Murphy, who is the chair of the Democratic Governors Association, said at a press briefing Sept. 21 that Republicans “want to ram a nominee through six weeks before a presidential election, when just four years ago they refused to offer even a hearing to a nominee whose name was put forward eight months before an election.”

President Donald Trump has promised to announce his choice for the seat after memorial services for Justice Ginsburg are held. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated he intends to fill the seat before year’s end, without explicitly committing to a vote before the election.

Garland Nomination

This has rankled Democrats, as McConnell refused to even consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland for almost nine months in 2016 partly on the grounds that voters should have a say in who filled the lifetime appointment.

Murphy said the posturing that has already commenced should be a cautionary tale of how our national politics has careened off the rails over the past four years as “the rank hypocrisy of those like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is showing.” 

“‘Let the people decide,’ they screamed in 2016,” said the governor. “But today, they’re thumbing their noses at the people in the name of a narrow political ideology.” 

Power Grab

Murphy characterized the actions by Republican Senators as a “blatant power grab by those whose mission is to undo decades of civil rights progress, protect polluters over the environment, gut healthcare for millions of Americans and deny a woman the right to make her own medical and reproductive decisions.”

Murphy, who has battled with McConnell and other GOP leaders over the lack of action in getting states the aid they need to fight the coronavirus pandemic, framed the debate as showing what the priorities of the Republician party are during a national emergency.  

“Right now, our attention and the attention of the President and Congress should be focused on the pressing issue of getting ahead of COVID-19 and ensuring a comprehensive national response and recovery,” he said.

Invoking Sen. John McCain 

The first-term Democratic governor challenged GOP Senators to be more like Sen. John McCain when he voted against his party when the Republicans attempted to roll back the Affordable Care Act in 2017.   

“How many Senate Republicans will have the guts to stand up and demand that the process be put on hold until after the nation chooses its next president? That’s really a rhetorical question, as so few have shown any guts over the past four years,” said Murphy. “Please, God, can four of these people channel the likes of John McCain and others who went before them?”

When asked if he would support barring judicial nominations in the last year of a gubernatorial term, Murphy said he didn’t “want to speak out of both sides of my mouth, but I was pretty clear and on the record that I thought it was a miscarriage to not hear Judge Garland’s candidacy in 2016, particularly eight months out.”

“I’d secondly say you can’t have it one way one year and a different way, when frankly, the facts have not only really changed, but they’re much more acute in this case.” 

5 comments

  1. Gov. Murphy seems to be ignorant of the precedents that McConnell invoked in 2016: when the President and Senate majority are of the same party (the current situation), 19 Justices have been nominated and confirmed during an election year on the theory that the President and Senate are doing what they were elected to do. But when the Senate majority and the President are of different parties (the 2016 situation), nominees have not been confirmed until the next administration on the theory that the electorate should decide the issue.

    1. What’s good for the gander should be good for the goose. I agree eith Gov. Murphy that McConnell and his crones are hypocrites! They know many will be losing their seat in the Senate, so they are purposely making it difficult for the next and future Presidents. If Biden is elected, he can add another seat to balance the Supreme Justices, and I pray that’s what happens. Anyone who has an elderly parent or a sick child will be harmed when they overturn the ACA without any replacement plan. Why they just can’t fine tune it more is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

    2. Please list those imaginary precedents that McConnell invoked in 2016.

      https://www.npr.org/2016/03/16/470664561/mcconnell-blocking-supreme-court-nomination-about-a-principle-not-a-person

      “It is a president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on a president and withhold its consent,” McConnell said on the Senate floor following the president’s nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland.

      “It seems clear President Obama made this nomination not, not with the intent of seeing the nominee confirmed, but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election,” McConnell said.

      “I believe the overwhelming view of the Republican Conference in the Senate is that this nomination should not be filled, this vacancy should not be filled by this lame duck president,” McConnell said.

      “The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice. Let’s let the American people decide. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates, whoever that might be,” McConnell said.

      So, in mcconnell words, in seems clear trump made this nomination not, not with the intent of seeing the nominee confirmed, but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election. This nomination should not be filled, this vacancy should not be filled by this lame duck president Finally, the American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice. Let’s let the American people decide. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates, whoever that might be.

      So you now refuse to agrees with the 2016 McConnell. Is this what you are hypocritically stating? Good enough for PRESIDENT Obama. Good enough for trump.

      1. Interestingly, regarding “hypocrisy”this article (https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-succession-battle-shows-hypocrisy-is-an-enduring-norm-11600729816) that provides the precedents you asked for is headlined:

        “Supreme Court Succession Battle Shows Hypocrisy Is an Enduring Norm
        One exception is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose position in 2020 is consistent with 2016’s.”

        The relevant excerpt:

        “But the principle invoked by Mitch McConnell in 2016 is still intact. The majority leader back then repeatedly insisted his controlling authority was the precedent that the Senate doesn’t confirm a nominee in an election year when the White House and the Senate are controlled by opposing parties.

        “Remember that the Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was divided government since 1888,” he said on the Senate floor.

        In a thorough examination of the historical record for a recent National Review article, Dan McLaughlin cataloged all these cases and found precedent is indeed on the Republican side. There have been 19 cases in which a president of one party nominated a justice for approval by a Senate controlled by the same party between Jan. 1 of an election year and Inauguration Day the following year. Only two of these nominees—Abe Fortas for chief justice and Homer Thornberry to fill Fortas’s seat, both in 1968—were not confirmed.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.