Monday, February 13 marks the anniversary of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death; and we still have just eight justices on the Supreme Court. Republicans abdicated their constitutional duty by failing even to grant a hearing to D.C. Court of Appeals judge Merrick Garland. But, with a new resident in the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acts as if that unprecedented cold shoulder never happened. Since President Trump nominated Tenth Circuit judge Neil Gorsuch to the Court, McConnell has declared that “the American people simply will not tolerate” any Democratic effort to block a Supreme Court nominee.
McConnell suggests that everything-is-everything/business as usual. Only it’s not. The Senate Judiciary Committee moving ahead on the merits of Judge Gorsuch’s nomination would be like Jennifer Garner inviting Ben Affleck to her family reunion. The Republicans’ refusal to do their constitutionally enumerated job has damaged the confirmation process and harmed all three branches of government.