A “journalist” asked then-Senate candidate Scott Brown (R, MA) whether he was willing to sit in Teddy Kennedy’s seat and block the Democrats’ health care bill. Brown answered in pertinent part,
With all due respect, it’s not the Kennedy’s seat, it’s not the Democrats’ seat, it’s the people’s seat.
What brings that up is Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D, OR) claim in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s announcement of his nominee for the Supreme Court, 10th Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch.
This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat[.]
Stolen from whom? Who owns this seat, exactly? In the feverish minds of the Democrats in the Senate, a Supreme Court seat belongs to the Democrats, or maybe if we take Merkeley’s claim literally, it belongs to the minority party. Or the seat belongs to a Liberal/Progressive wing of…somebody. (Never mind that the liberal wing of the Supreme Court doesn’t even support the Constitution, holding that it lives through judicial rulings and not through Article V.)
And this, from Juan Williams, author of the piece at the second link:
[I]f a liberal now sitting on the court retires or dies and Trump has another nomination, get ready for fireworks if not all out war on the nomination.
Because somehow, that seat belongs to a liberal, if not a Democrat, or the “right” to pick who sits in that seat “belongs” to Democrats or other liberals.
And here’s that so-familiar view of morality, this time as articulated by Williams, and concerning the Republicans’ block of ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) nominee, DC Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland, made in a Presidential election year. Keep in mind that the purpose of the block was because Senate Republicans believed that the people in the upcoming election should have a voice in who the nominee should be.
Turnabout is fair play, acted on with glee in these politically polarized times.
There it is: the morality of a behavior isn’t at all intrinsic in the behavior, it’s strictly in whether someone else did it or is doing it. Morality is strictly situational, the Democrat says, it’s whatever is politically convenient in the present case. And that’s the immorality that the Democrats are applying to justify their opposition in the present case: payback’s a bitch, and we’re gonna be bitches. Nothing at all on whether Gorsuch is qualified for the Supreme Court.
And this little detail. By the Democrats’ logic, the vacant seat—Scalia’s seat in the Democrat lexicon—belongs to the conservative wing of…somebody, or it belongs to a Conservative, if not a Republican, or the “right” to pick who sits in it “belongs” to Republicans or other Conservatives. Yet these Democrats in that election year demanded to install their left of center candidate into “Scalia’s seat,” and they’re determined to block the Republicans’ “right” to pick “their” judge for the seat.
But the question of whose seat the vacant one on the Supreme Court is—indeed whose seat each of the nine is—has been answered quite clearly, and the answer was plainly stated in the block of Garland. Just as with all of the seats anywhere in the Federal government, we the People own the seats on the Supreme Court, including any vacant ones. Not Democrats. Not Republicans. We the People.
Did I say feverish minds? No, that’s wrong. These Democrats know exactly what they’re doing, and the sad thing about it is that they’re doing it anyway.