Here is my answer to the recent Contributors piece by Michael A. Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America, who stated that voters have already rejected Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland because they elected Republicans in 2010 and 2014.
It is true that it is the responsibility of the Senate to provide "Advice and Consent" on presidential appointees. It is not the responsibility of the Senate to obstruct and destroy, to turn the Senate into a banana-republic institution that, by its odious behavior toward Garland, has renewed its status as a symbol of the kind of obstruction and dysfunction that has led almost 80 percent of the American people to express their disapproval of the Republican Senate, and the Republican House, according to summaries of polling from RealClearPolitics.
When Sen. Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump’s team identifies top projects for infrastructure plan: report Overnight Finance: Trump budget pick on the hot seat | Dems' T infrastructure plan | Deficit to hit 1B in 2019 | Trump meets automakers | Pipelines back on GOP pans Democrats’ T infrastructure package MORE (R-Ky.) became Senate majority leader, he vowed to bring fairness and dignity back to the Senate. Instead, on the great matter of justice under law, he is acting more like Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzCruz shares 'proof' of basketball skills - with pic of Duke look-alike Cruz introduces bill letting states bar refugees Trump's America: Businessmen in, bureaucrats out MORE (R-Texas) by seeking to force a government shutdown of the Supreme Court in the same way that the only thing Cruz achieved in his short career in the Senate was to become known as the champion of the government shutdown in Washington.
Garland has spent a career becoming one of the most respected jurists in America, praised by long lists of Republicans (as well as long lists of Democrats), including Senate Republicans who sang his praises and proudly supported his confirmation to the federal bench.
Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison would be appalled by the behavior of McConnell today. Presidents Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Reagan would be appalled by the behavior of McConnell and his Senate Republicans today and must be mourning in heaven what has become of the Republican Party, which is on the brink of nominating for president a Republican so bad that some prominent Republicans are seriously considering supporting Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump clamps down on federal agencies Mellman: First things first? Dems indignant as Comey keeps his job MORE if front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSenate committee moving forward with Russia hacking probe Trump must re-engage Africa to halt Chinese inroads Voter fraud allegations reignite squabble MORE gets the nomination.
Speaking of Trump, he is condemning and running against the Republicans in Congress with almost the same ferocity that Cruz condemns Republican leadership in Congress (in July, Cruz called McConnell a liar).
If the Republican Party of Trump wants to claim that by electing Tea Party Republicans in 2010 and 2014, they have a mandate to obstruct a Supreme Court nominee that many Republicans have spent two decades joining Democrats in praising, they might consider why almost 80 of Americans disapprove of Republicans in Congress.
I would rather have a Supreme Court justice than an issue, but if Republicans want to make the claim that what voters supported in 2010 and 2014 was to bring a government shutdown of the Supreme Court forced by a Republican Congress that is disapproved by a huge majority of the nation — well, we can fight that out in November and I warn them: make my day!
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at email@example.com.