In the wake of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama has said that he plans to nominate a Supreme Court nominee, despite the tradition of not nominating new justices in an election year. He also says he expects the Senate to vote on the nominee, without a filibuster or any other interference.
There’s one thing in his way, though: a major Washington politician who set a precedent for filibustering a Supreme Court nominee. He was unsuccessful, but what that politician did justified essentially whatever the GOP chooses to do.
That Washington politician? Barack Obama.
Back in January of 2006, Obama joined 24 other Senators in an attempt to stop the nomination of Justice Samuel Alito. According to ABC News, he didn’t do it because Bush broke precedent or the president refused to let the Senate do its role of advise and consent. He simply didn’t like Alito.
Obama told reporters he would “be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values, you know. When you look at his decisions in particular during times of war, we need a court that is independent and is going to provide some check on the executive branch, and he has not shown himself willing to do that repeatedly.”
“I think that the Democrats have to do a much better job in making their case on these issues,” Obama continued.
“These last-minute efforts using procedural maneuvers inside the Beltway, I think, has been the wrong way of going about it, and we need to recognize because Judge Alito will be confirmed that if we’re going to oppose a nominee that we’ve got to persuade the American people that, in fact, their values are at stake and frankly I’m not sure that we’ve successfully done that.”
This is what President Obama does, though. What Barack Obama supported as a senator is often diametrically at odds with what he supports as a president. The only thing he wants to do is fundamentally transform America.
Unfortunately for him, Sen. Barack Obama may be the man who stops President Barack Obama from having his way in his Supreme Court nomination — and he has no one to blame but himself.