2-22-16 – Leahy’s Supreme Hypocrisy

by John McClaughry

The battle is on over the replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died a week ago.  Scalia was the anchor of the five Justices who in most cases stuck to interpreting the Constitution instead of cheerfully approving every law or action. I should note that two of those five, Roberts and Kennedy, are distressingly inconsistent in carrying out that duty. But the four serving Justices appointed by Democrats are rock solid on the politically liberal side of issues that come before the court, regardless of what the Constitution actually says and in one notorious case, regardless of what Obama’s Affordable Care act plainly said.

Another Obama appointment like his previous two would, if confirmed, create a predictably liberal court for the next thirty years.

A Republican Senate probably wouldn’t confirm any nomination that met Obama’s standards – that is, dependably left wing. The Republicans are saying that the new president should have the chance to appoint a justice to the evenly divided court, informed by the results of the November election. The Democrats are shrieking that the Republican Senate must vote on whoever Barack Obama nominates, now, before the election.

The Democrats’ position is exactly one hundred and eighty degrees away from the position they took in 2007, the final year of the George W. Bush presidency. Then they refused to consider any Bush judicial appointments in his last year and a half in office.

Among those urging immediate confirmation of whoever Obama appoints is Sen. Patrick Leahy.  Leahy, a long time chair of Senate Judiciary, is now saying that it is cowardly for the Republicans to put off a Supreme Court nomination, and that “It would be a sheer dereliction of duty for the Senate not to have a hearing, not to have a vote.”

I have a personal grudge about Leahy’s shameless hypocrisy on this issue. He and his pals stalled off the nomination of a brilliant potential justice, Miguel Estrada, solely because they couldn’t allow a Republican president to appoint the first Hispanic justice.

For fourteen months Leahy and pals stalled the Circuit court nomination of San Diego law professor Bernard Siegan, incidentally a friend of mine, just because had made the mistake of believing that the Constitution protects property rights.

Worst of all Patrick Leahy, Joe Biden and Teddy Kennedy led the utterly disgraceful attack on another friend of mine, Clarence Thomas, because they could not allow a black conservative on the Supreme Court. Happily, Clarence survived what he called a “high tech lynching”, was confirmed 52 to 48, and has served on the Court for twenty five years.

I understand that others have different political views from mine, but Patrick Leahy’s shabby and blatantly hypocritical  record on judicial nominations is simply, to me, unforgivable.

 John McClaughry is the founder and vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Fred Nouvertne February 22, 2016 at 1:57 pm

I think Pat is in the stone age on many issues. Just the fact alone that he is supporting Hillary Clinton shows he backs Wall Street. He claimed he backed Hillary before Bernie Sanders threw his hat in the ring; however, since when is it etched in stone that he could not change his mind?
The only one running for president that has stuck to his guns is Sanders. I don’t feel the Bern, as it is said. However, if elected, I do not think Bernie would burn me! All the rest of the candidates most likely would.


samuel shultis February 22, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Patrick Leahy’s ‘shabby and blatantly hypocritical record’ isn’t limited to judicial nominations …. ‘jus say’n, he didn’t get the nickname “Leaky Leahy’ without just cause ….


Doug Garvey February 22, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Patrick Leahy voted in favor of the campaign financing that gave corporate America the upper hand yet neglected to rescind the Hatch act which forbids a government employee from running for public office.


Mark Donka February 22, 2016 at 7:57 pm

What really bothers me is that everyone(Liberal left) are screaming how the bad Republicans want to block Obama’s possible nominee. They refuse to look back to 2007 when they did the same thing. Why can’t the media report both sides of the issue. Thankfully we groups like Ethan Allen that try and spread the truth. We all need to keep the pressure on our representatives. I have tried repeatedly to contact Leahy’s office via e-mail. All I get is a form letter that I am sure was sent by his staff and never seen by him. It is frustrating that we have Senators and Congressman who forget who put them in office. We are their bosses and can fire them in the voting booth. Let do it!!


Gary Miller February 22, 2016 at 10:13 pm

Hey, John, I am used to whopper out of you, but this is ridiculous. Over 50 Bush judicial nominations were confirmed in 2007-08. So when will you issue a retraction of this blatant lie?


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