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Thune Completely Reverses 2016 Position on Election-Year Nominees to Supreme Court

No surprise here: Senator John Thune supports Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rank hypocrisy in planning to hold a vote on whomever Donald Trump nominates to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court less than two months before the Presidential election:

Senator John Thune, statement from Twitter, 2020.09.18
Senator John Thune, statement from Twitter, 2020.09.18.

At least Senator Thune is admitting that he refused to carry out his Constitutional duty in 2016 by refusing to hold a vote on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to replace the deceased Justice Antonin Scalia eight months before the Presidential election:

The American people deserve to have their voices heard on the nomination of the next Supreme Court justice, who could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court for a generation. Since the next presidential election is already underway, the next president should make this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court [Senator John Thune, press release, 2016.03.16].

The Constitution and the voice of the people matter to John Thune, but only when they say what he wants to hear.

The Senator we get to replace this year, Mike Rounds, hasn’t yet waved his hypocrisy flag. Last night he simply tweeted “thoughts and prayers” for Justice Ginsburg’s family. But in 2016, like Thune, he shirked his Constitutional duty in 2016 and refused to consider the Garland nomination:

As a former governor, I respect the president’s responsibility to make a nomination. Today I met with Judge Garland as a courtesy. During our meeting, I thanked him for allowing the president to place his name in nomination. However, I believe that Justice Scalia’s replacement should be nominated by the next President of the United States [Senator Mike Rounds, press release, 2016.04.27].

But give him time; Rounds will get the memo and reverse his 2016 position soon enough, just like South Dakota’s other Senate hypocrite.


  1. bearcreekbat 2020-09-19

    Thune’s hypocrisy is not particularly surprising. Nor will be the hypocrisy of Lindsey Graham and every other Republican who claimed that “the American people” should weigh in on which President picks a SCOTUS nominee in an election year.

    What is troubling, however, is that it seems similarly hypocritical for Democrats to now adopt the former Republican position after arguing that such a policy violated the Constitution when Obama was President. While the Constitution is a “living document,” it seems strange for the meaning to change in such a short time period. And from a moral standpoint, such a change in position seems inconsistent with Kant’s categorical imperative.

    Regardless, the timing of the Senate’s approval of a Trump nominee to replace Ginsburg could mean a suspension of Roe’s “right to privacy” in family procreation decisions for the younger generations, along with a myriad of other pernicious changes in Constitutional law by self-deluded “originalists.” As someone I care deeply about said, “What next?”

  2. Neal 2020-09-19

    What’s next? The return of power from the grotesquely bloated federal government back to the states, where it rightly belongs. This is our only hope to preserve any sense of national unity.

  3. Owen 2020-09-19

    Will South Dakota’s media let them get away with this? Will they ask the tough questions or will they just back off?

  4. Buckobear 2020-09-19

    Owen — I think you misspelled the next-to-last word in your comment.
    We’re a one party ruled state.

  5. bearcreekbat 2020-09-19

    Neal, just to clarify terms: The lay idea of “national unity” is diametrically opposed to vesting all or most power in the individual states. While one might contend it is a better form of government for each State to exercise plenary power, it contradicts our County’s own history to think this would leads to any form of “national unity.”

    Indeed, the reason the Articles of Confederation failed is precisely because States retained too much power:

    In response to widespread antipathy toward a strong central government, the Articles of Confederation kept national government weak and allowed for the states to be as independent as possible. But almost soon as the Articles took effect, problems with this approach became apparent.

    And maybe Neal is right that “The return of power . . . back to the states,” is what will come next. The funny thing is, however, this change in power would effectively render the SCOTUS irrelevant and powerless since each State will retain the power to ignore the Court’s rulings and the federal government will be powerless to do anything about it. Keeping a balance on the SCOTUS might help avoid this problem. An unbalanced ideologically and political driven set of Justices could dig a hole that harms this County. Thune should know better.

  6. Jake 2020-09-19

    Neal, are you advocating that 50 different approaches at solving the same problem is a solution? If so, you can say this is ‘national unity?’

  7. mike from iowa 2020-09-19

    Three wingnut sinators have voiced opposition to voting on a nominee this year. Of course, they are usual suspects in Collins, Murkowski and Romney.

    A possible joker in the deck is Mark elley from Arizona. If he wins that seat he could be seated by November 30 and then Dems need only the aforementioned three wingnut’s votes to stop McCTurtlefartface and drumpf’s shenanigans.

    LA Times suggests Dems could threaten to expand court to 13 if they win the Senate and WH.

    ps Dems aren’t winning any points for playing this game the wingnuts have played and I am not sure why. If wingnuts do it and succeed, Dems should be capable of doing the same.

  8. mike from iowa 2020-09-19

    Nice one, buckobear. +1 :)

  9. Eve Fisher 2020-09-19

    Ah, the hilarity of worrying about having only 8 justices for a period of 6 weeks, when the 14 months with only 8 justices from February, 2016 to January, 2017 was just [GOP] business as usual.

  10. Darrell Solberg 2020-09-19

    We have three congressmen, Thune, Rounds, and Dusty that are afraid to stand up to Donald Trump, even though it may be the best thing for the people that they serve! But NO to them it is party first, people last. Thune’s hypocrisy does not surprise me, as he has always been a puppet on a string for Trump! I am sure that we will hear the same hypocrisy from Rounds! He needs to be sent back to his insurance business, ELECT AHLERS!!!!

  11. Francis Schaffer 2020-09-19

    I am confused by Senator Thune’s statement about the people electing a Republican President and Republican Senate in 2016. He is being dishonest as not all 100 Senate seats were voted upon. If he wants to use nation wide election results as a barometer of the people’s wishes then the 2016 results with Democrats gaining Senate seats would indicate the voters are trending toward Democrats. Of course, John Thune seems to be financially compromised by corporate contributions.

  12. bearcreekbat 2020-09-19

    The 8 justice “unmanageable crisis” seems a “jump scare” type classic gaslighting position. Indeed, Eve’s factual comment confirms how downright deceitful such a claim is.

    While 4-4 ties are not considered Supreme Court precedent, such rulings resolve pending cases by affirming the lower court ruling. And given the Trumpian articulated goal of judicially over-ruling the long standing Roe precedent that there is a Constitutional right of privacy in reproduction decisions, it seems that existing Supreme Court precedent is not particular important to the Trumpian world view in any event.

  13. Donald Pay 2020-09-19

    Returning power to the states is really not what the Republican Party wants. Watch what they do, not what they say. They want to centralize power in the federal executive, and eliminate federalism and checks and balances. They want fascism.

  14. o 2020-09-19

    Senator Thune’s positrons show what happens when politicians are above consequences. McConnell believes he is as well.

    John Dale, yo are correct (from the GOP point of view) that it will cause a crisis (for the GOP) if the election is decided by the voters and not a GOP appointed majority court. The person with more votes may actually . . . win.

  15. Darrell Solberg 2020-09-19

    why should anybody be surprised? Thune, Rounds, and Dusty are puppets on a string for DJT! It really is mind boggling why the Republicans are afraid to stand up to DJT. It is time that put the people first!!

  16. Richard Schriever 2020-09-19

    Neal, the word “South” in South Dakota seems to have confused you. The whole “states rights” superseding the Federal Constitution and the union argument, the underlying “logic”, used by the “Southern States” to secede from the Union is now, as it was then, simply “cover” for another deeply held conviction centered around the relative “value” of a particular class of human being.

  17. Richard Schriever 2020-09-19

    Mr. Pay is correct. The modern GOP is deeply enamored of the idea that they are “ordained by God” to “rule”.

  18. Robin Friday 2020-09-19

    Rounds will waste no time aligning himself with McConnell. Thune is McConnell’s wing man and has made his loyalty to McConnell and Trump well known, even as late as yesterday. Sadly, Rounds does not have the guts or even the inclination to stand on his own two feet and show any independence whatsoever.

  19. Robin Friday 2020-09-19

    What makes anyone think that Trump is interested in “returning power to the states”? His behavior with the Covid crisis belies that idea. He did NOTHING for the states. After he decided he had to move on the crisis after two months of doing nothing but hush-hushing it, he moved swiftly to take control of the task force to tell them and the public what they could do and what they could not do or say, and to take control of all the PPE in the country, not for the health of the people, but for the White House and the fed. He has no interest in helping the states unless they can help him. He is only interested in collecting all power within the Oval Office as long as he occupies it. Watch what he DOES, not what he SAYS.

  20. sparks@msncom 2020-09-19

    The repulicants are demonstrating their callous disrespect for the life of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, without showing the slightest bit of courtesy or decorum. i expect this kind of indifference from the thug in the oval office I keep hoping that Thune, Rounds,and Johnson will consider putting the reputation of the great state of South Dakota over their blind devotion to the not so grand party of trump. The so-called representation we get from lil queenie and the three ass kissers in dc sickens me. Mike Livingston Hot Springs.

  21. Robin Friday 2020-09-19

    Collins says (Saturday) that the president elected in November should decide on the Supreme Court nominee. But she didn’t promise to vote that way. That’s consistent with what she said before, but if she’s consistent with what she DID before she’ll cave to McConnell-Trump on the vote.

  22. jerry 2020-09-19

    Put 9 Justices on the Supreme Court and problem solved

  23. Donald Pay 2020-09-19

    Trump attempted to bully his way into putting federal troops in Kenosha, WI, against the wishes of the of the state and city. Trump had no Constitutional power to do so without being given permission by state authority. He came to Kenosha to whine about not being able to have his storm troopers stomping around. As it was some of his unofficial squadristi came in with guns, and one of them offed two people. Fascism.

  24. Debbo 2020-09-19

    There is nothing I can say about Moscow Mitch and the GOP on any level that is fit to print.
    Women may be calling a general strike, depending upon GOP actions. I believe response will be enormous and expect that most males will participate as well.

  25. Robin Friday 2020-09-19

    Collins also says she has “no objection to the Judiciary Committee beginning the process of reviewing [the president’s] nominee”. In other words, bring it on, we won’t stop you like we did with Obama’s nominee Garland. Thune will help.

  26. Robin Friday 2020-09-19

    Agree, Debbo, but it wasn’t just women with Ginsburg, she was a hero for social justice and we are (hopefully not forever) lost on the Court without her. Trump’s nominees and McConnell’s and Thune’s skill at coercing confirmation votes is menacing for the short few years we have left.

  27. Robin Friday 2020-09-19

    Yes, Donald, that was good to see. But as you know, if Trump gets a second term, all bets are off as to his dictator behavior. He’ll send whatever “troops” he wants, including militias to quell any “disturbances” for social justice. And he’ll be hiding in his bunker with his bone spurs. And the Senate and the DOJ and the Supreme Court will uphold him.

  28. Robin Friday 2020-09-19

    I have this fantasy that Roberts will step up to fill some of Ginsburg’s tiny but heroic space.

  29. o 2020-09-19

    Darrell, I believe the puppet master at hand here is more McConnell than Trump. President Trump is the useful idiot on this issue.

  30. Debbo 2020-09-19

    I agree with O.

  31. Valerie 2020-09-19

    Those Republicans who already jumped aboard the USS Trump for a quick replacement for RBG are vultures and I’m convinced that those who voted for Kavanaugh will also go with whomever Trump nominates. Thune and Rounds are like McConnell, biting at the bit to use Trump to stack the court. The question now is who will Trump nominate? After looking at the most recent list, I’m predicting Senator Tom Cotton for two reasons; he’s not an acting judge and he’s like the man himself, arrogant, racist, sexist, a xenophobe, and a conspiracy theorist. Did I miss anything? The following is a lengthy article but worth the read because it presents some options that Democrats may have.

  32. Debbo 2020-09-19

    Exactly the word I was thinking. Filthy animals feeding off the suffering and death of Americans.

  33. Moses6 2020-09-19

    Question here if the dems take over the senate and the white house can they put more judges on the supreme court. and add more .

  34. Valerie 2020-09-19

    I believe that if they have the majority in the Senate, they can kill the filibuster and pass a new Judiciary Act to add more SCOTUS. It would then have to pass both houses.

  35. leslie 2020-09-19

    Robin, Stevens was a prime agent in Gore’s loss to Bush in Fla.

  36. mike from iowa 2020-09-19

    drumpf is going to nominate another poorly qualified ideologue for the SPOTUS next week.

  37. leslie 2020-09-20

    The Nation
    Trump has delivered what any senior fellow at a right-wing think would want: tax cuts for the rich, a roll back of environmental regulations, a judiciary filled with Federalist Society alumni, and a massive increase in military spending.

  38. Donald Porter 2020-09-20

    Sen John Thune’s 2016 statement on the Obama / Garland nomination came close to 8 months before the election; Justice Ginsburg passed away on September 18th – the President will nominate replacement month (and a week) before an election in which he is clearly the underdog. Big difference. If a Justice is nominated confirmed and the President loses, there will be big questions on legitimacy of Supreme Court; impact of decisions depends entirely the Court being perceived as legitimate branch of government.

  39. Francis Schaffer 2020-09-20

    Why the 2016 election as the benchmark year? It seems, the people spoke loud and clear in 2018, rebuking Trump and the Republicans while mandating change from their course. The 2018 election should have indicated a need for change of direction or at least a change of policies. Oh silly me, Republicans have no unifying vision or policy for the country. To me their theme is; ‘Just Us’.

  40. Tim 2020-09-20

    They won’t vote to install the next wingnut to the court until the lame duck, McConnell needs this to keep the base fired up, once they lose everything in November then all of these “concerned” Republicans will be lining up to install said wingnut.

  41. Curtis Price 2020-09-20

    The 4-4 argument is stupid and not only because an 8 person court it is historically common, and was in place during the Garland obstruction.

    If an important case is decided this fall, we do not have a 4-4 court. We have a 5-3 conservative court. They just want to make it 6-3.

  42. Robin Friday 2020-09-20

    Just my two cents: Thune is McConnell’s No. 2 man. There’s no way he’s going to do anything but what he’s ordered to do and round up votes in the Senate for Mitch’s way. He’s a party man through and through, even when it’s detrimental to SD. He doesn’t care if he looks supremely hypocritical at this point, because he cares more about Mitch and the GOP than he does about SD. And he thinks SDans are too dumb and backwards to see it. Sadly, RBG is gone from us. Mitch is not.

  43. Robin Friday 2020-09-20

    And Rounds is no better. We SDans need to retire Mike Rounds this year. I cAn’t say what direction SD is going to take now, but let’s start with Rounds.

  44. Curtis Price 2020-09-20

    “[Voting on a nominee now is] a complete flip-flop to the average Americans. I mean, I know you are trying to come up with these caveats. Nothing about it makes any sort of sense to the average person.” — Chuck Todd, to Sen John Barrasso [WY]

  45. Robin Friday 2020-09-20

    No, Curtis, not me. Making no excuses for Thune, there is no excuse. Not real fond of Chuck Todd, but he’s right on. Complete flip-flop, that’s why I use the word hypocrite. But fact is fact. Thune works for Mitch. Now is the time for him and Mike to stand up to Mitch, but they won’t.

  46. Robin Friday 2020-09-20

    And Baarrasso is No. 3 man, to Mitch, from Wyoming. Puppets. Hypocrites.

  47. mike from iowa 2020-09-20

    Marlboro Barbie is the majority whip (allegedly), but whimp might be a better fit when it comes down to standing up to drumpf for his constituents.

  48. Debbo 2020-09-20

    She’s worse than Scalia and not as smart.

  49. Debbo 2020-09-20

    “What McConnell and his GOP ilk are hell-bent on ‘conserving’ is white Christian male privilege.”

    That’s from Sheila Kennedy’s excellent post on the despicable GOP’s court compromising appointments. It’s brief and worth the read.

  50. Robin Friday 2020-09-20

    Reports that she belongs to two evangelical cult-type charismatic groups. Sounds wonderful. The extreme opposite of RBG. arggggh

  51. Jason 2020-09-20

    McConnel shut down Obama’s 2016 SC nomination. Schumer needs to return the favor. Something tells me Chuck won’t be as effective …

  52. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-21

    Just to be clear, the proper Constitutional procedure is that the sitting President and the sitting Senate must carry out their Constitutional duties for the full extent of their terms. The Supreme Court has a vacancy; the President should nominate and the Senate should confirm a qualified judge to fill that vacancy and carry out the Court’s important duties right now.

    That principled argument ignores the partisan vagaries of the moment, as the Founders intended.

    If you don’t like who’s in place to pick Justices, you need to get out and vote in November to change those decision-makers… and you need to get out and vote in every election to ensure you always have good decision-makers.

  53. mike from iowa 2020-09-21

    Unfortunately, Jason, Dems cannot stop wingnuts from proving their hypocrisy on when to/not to approve SPOTUS nominees. Dems can do nothing unless/until they win the Senate and WH.

  54. Valerie 2020-09-21

    What’s so appalling Cory is that the Senate has been negligent with their other responsibilities as outlined in the Constitution. They weren’t elected for the sole purpose of appointing and approving judges or presidential nominations. What new laws have they proposed and passed over the last 4 years? How many 100’s of house bills are sitting on McConnell’s desk awaiting attention? Why can’t they get a Covid 19 relief bill passed? Where is our wonderful health care plan promised 4 years ago or the reduction in prescription prices for US citizens? What about the national debt? What about the election and access to the polls? Negligence with over 200,000 people already gone from Covid and no plan to stop it and all they can think about is an appointment to the Supreme Court to rush through NOW. Life is not worth much in this country anymore as those Senators prioritize the future instead dealing with the present.

  55. jerry 2020-09-21

    Spot on mfi, time to move on from this train wreck and concentrate on cleaning the trash out of the white house and the senate. Be patient, we shall see how serious they are about abolishing the one wedge issue that works for them.

  56. Clyde 2020-09-21

    Isn’t it true that a justice can’t be appointed without a quorum present to vote on that approval?

    If the R party wishes to ram this through after the way they handled the last approval I would think that all Democratic House and Senate members ought to go home for an extended holiday.

  57. cibvet 2020-09-21

    Rounds and thune both know that no matter what they do, in SD they can always be re-elected.

  58. Clyde 2020-09-21

    I wonder what Chuck Grassley would have to say about the current SC conundrum? Sure would be interesting to have the propaganda machine interview him about SC appointments right now. How come out propaganda machine isn’t bringing up any old clips?

  59. o 2020-09-21

    cibvet, let us not fool ourselves, the voters will not need to forgive Rounds that Thune for this hypocrisy, they will SUPORT that hypocrisy. As I think about this issue, Cory (et al) have framed the argument wrong: it is not that the GOP held that we cannot appoint a justice close to an election (although that was their verbiage), it is that the GOP can use all tactics, dirty and otherwise, to ensure only their voice I heard. That has been absolutely consistent.

  60. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-21

    I agree with Valerie that the GOP-controlled Senate has been shirking its duties on top of its hypocritical power politics. We need to elect Senators committed to the proper functioning of government.

  61. mike from iowa 2020-09-21

    Grassley said in July he would advise against naming anyone, but, then he said it is not his decision. Miss lindsey and McCTurtlefartface will make the decision and no doubt Grassley and Ivanna Kuturnutzov will not hesitate to stack the court.

    Ernst (aka I K) is on record supporting naming of and voting for whatever unqualified wretch drumpf comes up with.

  62. Dicta 2020-09-21

    Thune had a speech this past week discussing the bad idea behind ending the filibuster. I am beginning to think he did so in anticipation of this fight.

  63. Dicta 2020-09-22

    Romney has confirmed he will be backing a nomination. The SCOTUS seat is going to be filled by Trump. The morbid irony of abortion cases being ruled on by a woman whose religious group refers to her as a handmaiden….

  64. mike from iowa 2020-09-22

    Miss lindsey is gloating they have the votes to confirm and the vote is going to happen.

    Choice is crystal clear, vote for sensible Democrats or vote for hypocritical wingnuts.

  65. Eve Fisher 2020-09-22

    Just a reminder – this “unseemly haste” to ram in a replacement for RBG – less than 2 months before Election day – is absolute proof that McConnell, and all of the GOP, are terrified that Trump and many other GOP Senators will lose November 3rd. Take heart. And vote.

  66. mike from iowa 2020-09-22

    A wingnut’s word is good only until the next opportunity to lie comes down the pike. Words to never forget when dealing with wingnuts.

  67. jerry 2020-09-22

    They can put a Monkey On A String for this court position and it won’t make a difference for how we vote.

    “In this circus top where the world’s a stage
    I’ve come to do my spot when the Freakshow plays
    I get electric shocks from rattling my cage
    I don’t know when to stop can’t tear myself away” Kinky Machine

    No doubt the freak show will just get freakier.

  68. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-22

    Dems, maintain your principles. Accept that Trump’s third nomination is a Constitutional consequence of our not getting out and winning more votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 where she needed them. Let’s learn our lesson and not let that happen again in the 2020 election.

    Also keep in mind that the Supreme Court probably won’t outlaw abortion; they’ll just allow states to do so… at which point it will become our job to not only keep a sane Democratic President who respects women in the White House for the rest of our lives but to win back every governor’s chair to veto bad abortion laws and to win back every Legislature to repeal bad abortion laws.

  69. o 2020-09-22

    Today, Romney articulated the partisan gamesmanship of all this: “Romney said his decision [to vote on a Trump nominee]“is not the result of a subjective test of ‘fairness’ which, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder,” and argued “the historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.”

  70. bearcreekbat 2020-09-22

    While relatively attractive, the concept that

    the Supreme Court probably won’t outlaw abortion; they’ll just allow states to do so

    seems a bit optimistic. The issue in Roe was not the relative power of a State, but the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. In effect, the Roe Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects an individual right of privacy in family planning to safely terminate a pregnancy (i.e. with competent safe medical help available) from legislation that undermines that right. In order to overrule Roe the new conservative Court will have to reject or restrict the idea that the U.S. Constitution protects that right of privacy. Such a ruling is the tip of a legal iceberg.

    Once we no longer have a constitutional right of privacy, then neither the States nor the federal government are restricted from enacting legislation prohibiting the activities that the right of privacy have previously protected. Thus, unless this conservative Court accepts some other constitutional limitation of the power of our federal government, Congress could soon have the power to outlaw abortion nationwide, as well as a myriad of other activities currently protected by our Constitution.

    Some of the other activities now protected against government intrusion by the constitutional right of privacy include:

    – the right to intimate adult relationships, including marriage (same sex, interracial, etc);

    – the right to private consensual sexual activities, birth control, as well as abortion;

    – the right to possess and read materials in the privacy of our own home deemed obscene or against public morality. such as pornography or materials about evolution, etc;

    – the right to personal autonomy in matters relating to our personal medical care, such as whether to reject medical treatment;

    – etc.

    . . . the U.S. Supreme Court has held that we do have a right to privacy. But, that right has been strongly challenged and eroded and may not last much longer. Indeed, the “right” has already been so greatly modified that it may soon be difficult to consider it a right at all.

    Of course, we could elect representatives that will enact laws protecting such activities, but with the national election of Trump, the national support of Republicans that act contrary to the views of the majority of the population and disregard standards, as well as South Dakota’s own voters that defer to party over reason, optimism seems contrary to our current reality.

  71. mike from iowa 2020-09-22

    My liberal friends have over many decades gotten very used to the idea of having a liberal court but that’s not written in the stars,” Romney told reporters on Tuesday. (from above Huffpo link.)

    Libs haven’t controlled the court since Nixon appointed Berger in early 1970s. Can’t any wingnut tell the truth?

  72. o 2020-09-22

    mike, it is a matter of lost perspective. The US has moved so far right that the center has become nowhere near any “middle ground” between liberal and conservative. The Left/Liberals/Democrats lost an Orwellian linguistic war, and that has had real-world policy implications.

  73. jerry 2020-09-22

    Good points Cory, this is just another in a long line of grifting by trump for the benjamin’s. Stay focused and vote, vote early and don’t wait. One thing will be for sure, this will no longer be the John Roberts court so he ain’t gonna be to happy about that either. He wishes the same thing that people would have put HRC in the drivers seat. LOL Johnny boy

  74. cibvet 2020-09-22

    The repubs are doing everything in their power to breathe life into the Jim Crow era. This time it will spread from the south to all the red states.If Biden loses, it will end democracy and begin autocratic rule.

  75. mike from iowa 2020-09-22

    bcb to the rescue, as usual. :)

  76. jerry 2020-09-22

    There is always the 2nd Amendment….Isn’t there? Oh wait, that could go by the wayside as well. Hmmm, now that’s a pickle.

  77. Debbo 2020-09-22

    “the historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.”

    Weaselly Romney and all the rest of the GOP. There is no historical precedent. There was a one time quasi legal inaction. It did not establish an excuse for those red weasels.

  78. Clyde 2020-09-22

    Cory, I’m very disappointed that you as well as many Democrat’s are ready to roll over again and concede to this appointment. Polls show that the vast majority of the people in this country think that no appointment should be made till after the election. The citizens of the country would be happy to back the Democratic party if it would just show some SPINE! PACK UP AND GO HOME IF NOTHING ELSE WORKS!!!! Deny them a quorum. The American people are behind the Democrats.

  79. Clyde 2020-09-22

    Make that a majority of REPUBLICANS as well. My god….that any Democrat thinks that this administration should be allowed to appoint this justice after what was done to push through the last one. YOUR SICK!

  80. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-23

    Clyde, I don’t consider it rolling over to decline to adopt Republican hypocrisy and rejection of constitutional duty. It was wrong not to proceed with the nomination process in 2016; it is wrong to declare that the sitting President should not be allowed to nominate a judge to full a vacancy on the Supreme Court now.

    Of course, it is also perfectly Constitutional for Senators to reject a Presidential nomination if the President shows poor judgment and nominates an underqualified candidate. And if a majority of Senators vote in such a fashion, then the President has to try again.

  81. mike from iowa 2020-09-23

    Wingnuts have placed party before country ever since wingnuts led the charge to impeach Nixon’s crooked regime. And they are still steaming mad at the world because Nixon resigned in disgrace.

  82. bearcreekbat 2020-09-23

    An additional thought on the point that while in office a President is authorized to nominate someone for a position on the Supreme Court and the Senate is authorized to accept that nomination during the President’s term.

    As the Republican Senate made clear in 2016, the Senate is not required to consider a President’s nominee.

    Since there is no requirement that the Senate consider or accept a SCOTUS nominees prior to the next election results, I withdraw any suggestion that Democrats are behaving hypocritically attempting to delay the appointment of a replacement for Ginsburg until after the upcoming election. The bottom line is that just because an act is permitted (i.e., replacing Ginsburg before the election), it does not follow that the act should be done.

    Here, the Republican actions in 2016 offer a perfectly sound reason to delay replacing Ginsburg until after the election, despite any constitutional authority to move forward now. The suggestion that Democrats, or anyone else for that matter, that oppose a pre-election appointment are hypocritical or that such opposition is in any way inappropriate, is a mistake. Again, just because Republicans (or anyone else) can do something doesn’t mean they should do it. Republicans’ actions in 2016 clearly justify Democrats’ objection, and Republicans have offered no credible or meaningful excuse for behaving differently today than they claimed to be appropriate in 2016.

  83. Debbo 2020-09-23

    Among other judicial reforms, I think we need a law that says a president must nominate a person to fill an empty SCOTUS seat within 30 days of the opening occurring and the Senate must act on that nomination within 30 days. The exception is that no action may be taken to fill a seat if the opening occurs after October 1 of a general election year until January 21 of the following year.

  84. o 2020-09-23

    We are hurrying the lead: the actions the Senate under the leadership of Sen. McConnell were wrong. They obstructed President Obama from fulfilling a Constitutional power he held as the President, to nominate a Justice to fill a Supreme Court opening. The Senate denied the President that opportunity. In addition to the Supreme Court, the Senate also refused to confirm other federal Obama-appointed judges — leaving open slots for President Trump to fill.

    No Senators were held accountable for this undemocratic, partisan, treasonous power play.

    The Senate’s changing tune now only points to their wrong doing before. Justice Gorsuch should not be on the bench (or should have been President Trumps first nominee in the Justice Kavendish slot).

  85. Dicta 2020-09-23

    lol, burying the lede.

  86. Clyde 2020-09-23

    Everything I have seen so far is the Democrats taking the “moral” high ground and coming off as the weak knee’ed bunch of do nothings they have become. What ever they do they must appease the “donor” class!
    Some milk toast banter about some Republican senators that they think will go against their leader and vote down this nomination. COME ON!…. The Republican party has declared war long ago and have won every battle….Its time that the Democratic elected fight the same people that have bought them and the Republican party and actually do the will of the people. They would quickly gain a large army to follow them.

  87. o 2020-09-23

    Clyde, I think you are spot on with the point about, “The Republican party has declared war long ago and have won every battle….” More so the GOP has learned where to fight the real battles that matter and the Democrats have not. The 99%/Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Me Too, et al have all taken to the streets, raised awareness and moved people to the right side of history. Meanwhile the GOP has won local, state, and national majorities, and completely redefined the judicial system. Who really won those battles? The GOP. Democrats are not on the right fields for the games that matter.

  88. leslie 2020-09-23

    The Republican party is dead.

  89. jerry 2020-09-23

    I so look forward to kicking this piece of trash out of our White House, along with all the rest of the riff raff. BTW, who really gives a rat’s fanny what Vladimir Thune has to say or do, mostly not do? Don’t worry Clyde, sometimes it’s best not to be a horses patoot like our republican neighbors in order to have democracy.

  90. Dicta 2020-09-24

    It would help if the democratic voters would stop ripping each other to shreds. People are trashing Biden and calling him the choice of the rich dems, ignoring the fact that it was poor, southern, black voters who won him the nom. Dems play purity politics with one another, imitating the same puritannical crap that the GOP used to do. There is a discussion to be had about what should and should not be pushed as policy should Biden become president, but you have to get him there first. Otherwise: 4 more years of this insanity.

  91. o 2020-09-24

    Dicta, I 100% agree. It is almost like we Democrats forgot whee policy is made and that if Democrats are not elected to office, change will not happen. This blog (me included) is a sampling of Liberal/Left/Democrat thinking where we delude ourselves that “the right thing” sways policy makers no matter their party affiliation.

    We need Black Lives Matter candidates to run and win office. We need Me Too candidates to run and win office. We need The 99% candidates to run and win office. Raising awareness just is not enough. Elections matter.

  92. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-24

    Right on, Dicta and O. We need to win the election, plain and simple. We need to control the White House and control the Senate.

    We do ourselves no favors if we adopt an argument now that was flat wrong when Thune and Rounds made it in 2016 and is still wrong now.

  93. bearcreekbat 2020-09-24

    I also agree that winning elections is the best solution, yet we should not close our eyes to the facts that: (1) the cat is now out of the bag – delaying consideration of a nominee pending an election was done in 2016 and there seems to be no constitutional or other legally binding prohibition against repeating this action; and (2) there is no reason to believe that Republicans will not repeat this conduct the next time they hold a majority in the Senate.

    Perhaps by winning elections Democrats can change the law to prevent this from happening again. But until then it remains a legally permissible procedure and it seems contrary to the goal of winning elections and changing the law for Democrats to voluntarily handicap the ability to restore a balance of power by refusing to take such action. It seems kind of like the Democrat who is going to refuse to support Biden because Biden is not the “perfect” candidate hoped for – it plays right into the hand of Trumpist/McConnell cult members.

  94. mike from iowa 2020-09-24

    Libs can win elections, but they have to grow a spine, a set of big, brass cojones and a mindset that states no more Mister Nice Guy when dealing with wingnuts. Wingnuts DO NOT WANT compromise! They demand total capitulation and we had better damn well remember this.

  95. jerry 2020-09-24

    Calm down Clyde, go smoke something man. Nancy has this all under control right now so don’t kid yourself on a spine thingy. Democrats get stuff done while the other guys just try to steal the idea and then steal it’s rewards. Key word here is “Steal” oh and BRIBE”. We know how that works in South Dakota eh Clyde?

    trump is not a dictator forever, he barely is a president for 4 years, remember, Democrats impeached his fat arse and republicans put us in the position were are now in. It’s all good brother, just vote Blue, that’s who.

  96. Clyde 2020-09-24

    Jerry, I’m calming……

    Stuff that I had forgot. I remember the “nuclear response”. Here’s a bit more though I disagree with her. Nonsensical past moves have done a lot to get us to this place.

  97. jerry 2020-09-24

    Nancy clearly knows her place, The Speaker of the House, and she knows the crooked lying republican place, control of the senate. What you gonna do but know how to work around the barriers they put into place. Many said that she would fail in the attempt to impeach the trump and his virus, but she got’r done. Disagree all you want and then vote Blue.

    She will get this stimulus package sealed and delivered too, just go vote man. Don’t be persnickety that the choice you have is not all pristine in your eyes, just vote to save the country, Vote Blue, to get stuff done. Don’t forget Dan Ahlers.

  98. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-25

    Trump will rush to fill the Supreme Court, but four years in, he’s left many other federal jobs vacant. He’s obsessed with a few high-power positions that help solidify his dictatorial power but not with filling the positions that make the government work as a whole for the people. Perhaps the Senate could take the position that we simply fill vacancies in order of occurrence.

  99. Debbo 2020-09-25

    Has Thune taken a courageous stand that involved real political risk for or against anything in his years in DC? Ever? Even once?

  100. mike from iowa 2020-09-25

    drumpf will appoint Barret before RBG is even buried. McCTurtlefartface will have her on the court before you can say anything.

  101. Clyde 2020-09-28

    Sure looks as if the spineless Democrats have thrown in the towel and are doing the donors bidding. I’m with the 40% that think the country’s voting system is too broken to fix and beginning to see no point.

  102. leslie 2020-09-28

    much wiser federal judge than your distraction creates and has said; STFU

  103. jerry 2020-09-28

    Those spineless Democrats are passing laws that will help…of all people…Clyde. Damn! The CARES Act will put needed money into the pockets that make the economy hum. I think what Clyde actually meant to say was spineless republicans who continue to do the crooked trump’s bidding.

    A question to anyone, did you pay more than $750.00 on your income tax? BTW, what part of Schedule F will a person be able to write off the BRIBES paid by trump? Is this a capital gain or is it a capitol gain?

  104. Dicta 2020-09-28

    People like Clyde:

    “Black lives matter”
    “Biden is establishment!”

    Me: Well, black lives are largely responsible for securing Biden the nom, not rich donors. Compare his primary dollars in versus other candidates.

    Clyde: “I said black LIVES matter, not black votes.”

    The far left members of the party who continuously ignore what black voters wanted and blame the establishment for the Biden nom are straight-up pigs. Stop trying to gaslight.

  105. jerry 2020-09-28

    Clyde, that John Oliver segment is pure gold. Why don’t you put a lead on what you are linking so we don’t waste our time looking at Crystal Balls if we maybe don’t want to. John Oliver is always appreciated.

  106. jerry 2020-09-28

    Those “spineless” Democrats are making sure the Post Office stays open to the act of delivering mail, who knew, including, of all things, BRIBE checks. Booyah!

  107. leslie 2020-09-30

    John Thune: last night you were filmed saying you had a direct hand in seven of the last supreme court picks.

    Consider, voters of South Dakota:

    “A naked power grab that radically alters the court’s ideological balance on the eve of an election in which voters might signal that they do not want that balance to shift takes the people out of the equation. Power is not derived from the consent of the governed. Power is turned against the governed.”

    This is primarily your doing Sen Thune, and Mitch McConnell’s, your mentor and the most hated man in America.

  108. Clyde 2020-10-01

    Jerry, I like that you at least have to take a look.
    You may not like the narrator but the subject is Feinstein doing her best for the American people…

  109. mike from iowa 2020-10-01

    When crystal Ball’s moniker, or some other right wing kook’s name shows up around videos, most of us don’t bother with the content, Clyde.

    Opinions are good. Right wing propaganda that poses as opinion is not good.

  110. mike from iowa 2020-10-01

    Marlboro Barbie is being educated on Senate decorum his party has used before and Dems are throwing in his face. Sounds like he might finally be getting a clew…

    Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 GOP senator, said he was told that a similar tactic was used a decade ago, in an apparent reference to Schumer.

    “This is kind of in the category of pulling a fast one. And pretty uncharacteristic of the normal decorum in the Senate. … Obviously they’re sore about the Supreme Court nomination and doing everything they can to retaliate,” he said.

    “Obviously they’re sore about the Supreme Court nomination and doing everything they can to retaliate,” he said. Gee, stud, do you think?

  111. jerry 2020-10-01

    Yeah, we’re sore alright. Losing healthcare is kinda important and especially during a pandemic. When Vladimir Thune opens that pie hole, only stupid comes out. Just another dim light bulb.

  112. Clyde 2020-10-02

    Well, I recommend at least a peak at the opening of this TYT vid. The Republicans’ seem to see no problem with denying a quorum…..Democrats apparently do. Nothing that can be done to stop this Supreme Court appointment!!

    BTW, Mike, there is nothing right wing about anything I have posted but plenty about a do nothing supposed left wing.

  113. jerry 2020-10-02

    Clyde, that gal is gonna get on the Court and Roe v Wade is gonna get knocked in the head. Time to make them pay.

  114. leslie 2020-10-02

    If your gonna get in the boat clyde, row, oh master of obfuscation.

    Super Speader Trump (SS Trump) can be replaced under the 25th amend if a president “needs to be sedated” and the Speaker is next in line for the presidency. Do it :)

  115. Debbo 2020-10-02

    No Leslie. First the VP, then Madam Speaker Pelosi.

  116. jerry 2020-10-05

    Clyde, this is a great link for everyone! Good link always with John Oliver.

  117. jerry 2020-10-05


  118. o 2020-10-05

    Debbo is right, but imagine that Pence and Trump are both laid out by the Trump virus and Pelosi takes office just in time to withdraw Trump’s nominee for the Court, retract all his executive orders, and demand the resignation of his entire cabinet . . .

  119. bearcreekbat 2020-10-05

    o, to dream the improbable dream. . . .

  120. mike from iowa 2020-10-05

    drumpf appointed Tom Fitton of Judicial Witch(hunt) precisely to help rid the DC circuit court of Obama’s appointees and replace them with drumpf’s goons. He is part of a five person group that oversees justices for health and ethical concerns. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

  121. leslie 2020-10-06

    mfi (confidentially) —Trump’s virus honeymoon days may give way to respiratory inflammation and if he gets ventilated because climbing stairs to do 4 edits of video attempts to not gasp for breath, gives way to the understood course of this illness, the guy is toast. Will his death certificate say “covid” or “suicide”?

    I am crossing my fingers for him and his family during this challenging time. IIWII

  122. mike from iowa 2020-10-06

    Way OT Eddie Van Halen dead of throat cancer @ 65.

  123. jerry 2020-10-06

    One helluva axe man, that is for sure. RIP.

  124. Clyde 2020-10-18

    Here’s who is really picking our supreme court justices…….as well as our house, senate and president in the only two parties we have.
    Suffer through it, Mike and Jerry…..

    No wonder there is no opposition to this SCOTUS pick from the Democrats.

  125. mike from iowa 2020-10-18

    There is all kinds of opposition to this scotus pick from Dems, but, opposition is all they have when McCTurtlefartface changed senate rules and can seat justices without any input from the opposition. He just needs 51 votes.

    Then, there is this….

    This is what is really happening and is a major reason rules were changed to effectively push ideologues onto the court with no way for Dems to stop them, except by ballot, and even that may not be safe from an activist right wing scotus.

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