If a future Senate ever again ignores a Supreme Court nominee - what could be done?

In 2016, the Republican Senate majority leader refused to even consider the Supreme Court nominee of the Democratic president.

If something similar happens in the future - obstructionist Senate ignores president’s Supreme Court nominee - does that president have any recourse?

I’m not talking about any blatantly illegal or unconstitutional action - but it could be one that bends the norms.

Simply put - could a future president do something that Obama didn’t do?

He could withdraw the nominee and nominate someone the Senate is willing to consider. That would be, at this point, norm-breaking I think.

Didn’t they refuse to even VOTE on it?

They refused to even debate on it or otherwise consider it.

Of course, you could have a Senate Majority Leader who says “One of my proudest moments was when I told Obama, 'You will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.” Republicans didn’t give a flying fuck who Obama nominated. They simply didn’t want to let him nominate anybody at all.

But thanks for the rallying cry, Republicans. For insisting on a drunken perjuring rapist, you’ve given the Democrats both houses of Congress next month.

Without an utterly massive change in political climate, we’ll never again see a Senate of the opposite party confirm a President’s SCOTUS nominee. McConnell proved that there are no consequences for it.

The Senate did not consider Merrick Garland. Not only was his nomination not devated or voted on, it didn’t even get a fucking hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee because of deliberate administrative inaction by Chuck Grassley and Mitch McConnell. Do not sit there and try to pretend like this was business as normal; it was historically irregular and nearly unprecedented. Even Robert Bork got a hearing and vote even though he was wildly unpopular both in the Senate and population at large.

All the people bitching about how this hearing and how allowing Ford to testify (even though she is one of three women with allegations of improper sexual behavior or assault against Kavanaugh) has somehow “ruined his life” by jeopardizing his chance of being on the Supreme Court need to apply the same logic to Garland and see how that plays. Garland was literally denied the chance to even be heard and have hos credentials and temperment examined. Kavanaugh got to have a hearing and make his statement, and all that did was make him sound like more of a partisan, entitled, raging asshole.


Get a grip. I’m not ‘pretending like’ anything. The OP asked “could a future president do something that Obama didn’t do?” and I answered. If Obama had nominated someone like Gorsuch, McConnell and Grassley would have been racing so hard to the floor to give the nominee an up-or-down vote that they would have likely tripped over themselves.

I’m aware.


”If you’d only given me a blowjob when I put my penis in your face I wouldn’t have had to rape you.” This is the most disingenuous, offensive horseshit you’ve served up in a long line of roadapples. The Republicans could have at least given Garland a hearing and vote as has been the standed practice without exception for over a century and shot him down on a guaranteed party-line vote instead of manufacturing a bullshit excuse as to why it was unfair to even consider a nomination by a president in his last term. But instead, they are so afreaid of being seen as what they are, they actually brought in a “female prosecutor” to ask questions becuase they were too afraid to confront Ford themselves, and then dismissed their functionary when she behaved like a real prosecutor instead of theit collective hand puppet.

As for the o.p., there is nothing the president can do about this, and that is by design so that the executive does not wield excessive power. There is, howver, plenty voters can do about it by removing hyperpartisan legislators and replacing them with prinicipled, reasonable representatives, and also encouraging to amend the Constitution so that appointment to the Supreme Court is not a lifetime appointment worthy of pulling the temple down in order topack with one’s preferred political appointee.


Obama was a failure as a Founding Father. To be fair, he never realized that he would be one, but he was: There have been times in our nation’s history when it became clear that there was something that just wasn’t covered in the Constitution, and so someone just made something up, and that became the precedent. Obama could have done something, but didn’t, and now that’s the precedent going forward.

To pick two examples: He could have declared that the consent of the Senate was the default position, and that therefore not voting against a nominee constituted consent. Or he could have asked the President of the Senate to call the matter to a vote, instead of just sitting around doing nothing.

I assume you mean the Senate Majority Leader (the President of the Senate during Obama’s Presidency was Vice President Joe Biden) but it was clear that McConnell and Grassley were never going to let Obama appoint any more justices to the Supreme Court regardless. Yes, he could hve picked someone eminently amenable to the Republican leadership and maybe gotten them confirmed (although McConnell was so opposed to giving Obama any kind of success he migt have even opposed that put of “principle”, HurricaneDitka’s claim notwithstanding) but it is the privilege of the President to nominate who he or she wishes with the expectation of getting a fair hearing unless the nominee is unsuited on the face, e.g. wholly unqualified or with an unacceptible record of widely unacceptable decisions.

The Senate does have the role to “advise and consent” on nominations. What McConnell and Grassley did was not illegitimate or outside their authority; just grossly unethical and aggressively partisan.


Bookmarking this post…

A future Democratic Senate must alter the Senate’s rules to require a vote within 180 days of the president nominating a justice. That’s the easiest fix I can think of.

Well, after we pack the Court to neutralize Kavanaugh, that is.

A president could use such a situation as a rallying cry for coming elections more effectively than Obama did. Presidents have the bully pulpit.

But since Obama was unable to run for reelection in 2016 his was not the lead Democratic voice in the 2016 race. And though Hillary obviously held the Senate’s intransigence in disdain she did not use it effectively to drive critical turnout.

Nothing at all prevents subsequent Senates from changing the rules back to the way they were before.

By the way, the situation is not unprecedented. Millard Fillmore made three nominations, all of which were ignored by the Senate until Fillmore was replaced by Pierce.

You technically answered, but you totally circumvented the intent of the question. The OP clearly wanted to know what a President could do to counter what they did to Obama’s candidate, and your “answer” was for the President not to do anything.

That was in 1852, on the threshold of the Civil War. There was no excuse for not giving Garland, who had the ABA’s highest rating and was widely regarded across party lines as a centrist with a solid record of politically neutral judgments despite his personal liberal beliefs, a hearing other than the GOP being openly obstructionist.

Again, even Robert Bork, a nominee that even many then-Republicans thought to be unsuitable, was given a hearing and got a Senate vote (42-58 against). The idea that Garland didn’t merit a hearing and vote had nothing to do, even ostensibly, with his qualifications; it was McConnell and Grassley violating the norms of giving a nominee a hearing at all and keeping a vacancy open for over a year over nothing more than bald partisanship. Whatever bullshit rationale HurricaneDitka and his ilk want to toss out to cover up the real agenda, the GOP leadership in the Senate was plain about their reasons.


i have never seen BobLibDem concerned or contrite over his many inaccurate predictions.

I don’t believe this will be the first time he cares.