Senate Republicans are rushing to get President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch confirmed as soon as possible. This approach is the height of irresponsibility—as Senate Minority Leader noted on the Senate floor earlier today.
Even in ordinary times, it is incumbent upon the Senate to closely examine a Supreme Court nominee’s record and judicial philosophy. Thoughtful analysis and serious deliberation take time, so the confirmation process should not be rushed.
But these are not ordinary times. We have a presidential administration that is as compromised as the Nixon White House during Watergate. FBI Director James Comey has confirmed that the FBI is investigating the contacts between Trump campaign and administration officials and Russian intelligence—the agents of a hostile foreign power that was actively interfering in our election in order to get Trump elected.
We may very well have a president either voluntarily colluding with Russia or doing so under duress. Either way, this country needs to hit a “pause” button on matters as critical as filling a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. When the administration is as fundamentally compromised as this one is, there is simply no downside to slowing down action on filling this vacancy.
As Chuck Schumer said today:
I’d like to point out that it is the height of irony that Republicans held this Supreme Court seat open for nearly a calendar year while President Obama was in office, but are now rushing to fill the seat for a president whose campaign is under investigation by the FBI. Even Rep. Nunes, the Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the investigation confirmed by FBI Director Comey yesterday puts a “big, gray cloud” over this administration.
You can bet that if the shoe was on the other foot—and a Democratic president was under investigation by the FBI—that Republicans would be howling at the moon about filling a Supreme Court seat in such circumstances. After all, they stopped a president who wasn’t under investigation from filling a seat with nearly a year left in his presidency.
It is unseemly to be moving forward so fast on confirming a Supreme Court justice with a lifetime appointment while this “big, gray cloud” of an FBI investigation hangs over the presidency.
Why are the Republicans in such a rush to fill this seat before we know the truth about potentially illegal and dangerous collusion between the president and a foreign adversary? Do they know something we don’t?