In March 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Republicans immediately went to work derailing his nomination.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke frequently on why he wouldn’t advance the nomination: “The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country, so of course the American people should have a say in the court’s direction.”
Republican Sen. John Cornyn said, “At this critical juncture in our nation’s history … the American people deserve to have a say in the selection of the next lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley refused to hold any hearings on Garland and consequently Garland never received a vote on his nomination.
We should apply the same principle with any nominee President Donald Trump selects to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. The American people, who will be voting on many Senate seats in the November midterm elections, should have a say in the court’s direction with their Senate selections.
Any deviation from this principle would be hypocritical.