Democratic appeals to the original meaning of the Constitution as a basis for demanding the Senate take up and approve any Obama nominee to replace the great Justice Scalia remind me of a story from May 1861.
Union Major General Benjamin Butler (a political appointment, hardly a competent military commander but memorable for the following action) was asked by a Confederate officer to return three slaves who had escaped from a Virginia plantation to Fortress Monroe, held by Union forces under Butler. Virginia had just seceded from the Union. When Butler told the Confederate officer that he intended to hold on to the slaves, the officer asked, “Do you mean, then, to set aside your constitutional obligation to return them?” (alluding to the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act). Butler’s response was: “I mean to take Virginia at her word,” he said. “I am under no constitutional obligations to a foreign country, which Virginia now claims to be.”
By the same token, Republicans are under no obligation to any perceived (though here wrongheaded understanding of) original meaning of the Constitution when the Democrats who demand such have been insisting on the “living Constitution” for years. We mean to take Democrats at their word.
Democrats concerned for adhering to the Constitution’s original meaning? It is not possible to take this seriously in view of Obergefell, Roe, and dozens of other anti-constitutional decisions sacred to Democrats. Not to mention that the Senate has the constitutional right to withhold its consent of any nominee put forward by Obama. In view of the fact that Senate Republicans may actually get a solid nominee a year from now (should a solid Republican win: think Cruz or, to a slightly lesser extent, Rubio), there is no reason for them to settle for a bad appointment of another Court justice who confuses the judicial function of the Court with the legislative function of Congress and subverts the process for amending the Constitution through amendment-by-judicial-“interpretation.”
Judicial tyranny, rule by an unelected oligarchy, must stop. This is a democratic (small “d”) national imperative even if Democrats (big “d”) don’t recognize it as such.
The Democrats “borked” Robert Bork, one of the best qualified nominees for the Court ever, and did so on purely ideological grounds, forcing Reagan to offer another nominee (Kennedy) who in the end proved to be the decisive vote for Obergefell and other leftwing, anti-constitutional decisions. Now Democrats want to cry that Republicans must affirm Obama’s nominee?
Irony, we see thee not.