Our nation braces itself for a potentially vicious storm, different in nature than the hurricanes we’ve experienced this season. The metaphorical storm clouds swirling around Washington D.C. over filling the vacant Supreme Court seat before the upcoming election in November are real. Opponents cry that Trump should wait and allow the next President, after the November election, decide. Others declare that it’s the standing president’s job to fill the vacancy. Of course, the Senate holds the ultimate power to decide the matter as the US Constitution wisely created a check on the President’s power by requiring the Senate to hold confirmation hearings to determine the candidates competence and then approve the nominee by majority vote.
Two Years ago, I personally experienced the intensity of this type of storm on a business trip to the D.C. area. I ventured into the Nation’s Capital on a beautiful summer evening and parked in the row houses east of the Capitol Building. Enthused by the prospect of a short jog along the National Mall I headed out only to get sidetracked by a handful of people debating President Trump’s recent Supreme Court nomination, in front of the Supreme Court Building. It was pretty low key, so I didn’t delay my run and headed west towards the Washington memorial to take in the remarkable surroundings. As I ran back towards my car I was drawn to a small crowd gathered around a stage on the Capitol’s east lawn opposite the Supreme Court building. Before I could see him, I could hear the unmistakable voice of Senator Bernie Sander’s slandering Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nomination for Supreme Court.
As I drew in closer to listen to his argument, I marveled at the lack of evidence offered to support his case for blocking the nomination in the Senate. Instead, he spoke again and again of an uncorroborated story of a woman claiming Kavanaugh had exploited her at a High School party with his friends decades earlier. Politics, not a desire to find truth and carefully vet the merit (and they should be carefully vetted since their appointment is for life) of a highly qualified candidate were the motivations of that speech and the vicious slander campaign mounted against Brett Kavanaugh in the media was appalling. After extensive investigation, Federal investigators could find no evidence to validate the story and everything else in this man’s life pointed to a squeaky clean past. Instead of expediting a hearing, the opposition party had tried to use anything to delay the vote long enough in hopes that the 2018 midterm election would give the democrats the majority in the Senate they needed to stop the nomination.
This kind of behavior that turns the American people off to politics is not new, but we expect more of our Senators, all parties included. We expect them to engage in real debate and strive to find truth, justice and viable solutions in government and We The People must demand it of them if it has any chance of changing. At FreedomSHIFT, we don’t get bogged down in politics. Both parties (Sanders is an Independent) have been guilty of using similar tactics to block the opposition party. I use this story, not to call one party out, but to illustrate the fact that political parties will always posture for power, but we’ve seen them change their behavior when enough responsible citizens call them on it. So take a moment today to click on our freedom alert and demand that your Senators behave responsibly with this upcoming hearing. We have evidence that when enough of us speak up it does influence them.
Here are some interesting facts about the Supreme Court and past nominations:
Since the First Nomination by George Washington in 1789 –
- There have been 17 Chief Justices compared to 44 presidents.
- A total of 102 Associate Justices have served.
- Currently 9 justices sit on the Court.
- Congress first set the number of justices at 6, later changed it to 7, then up to 10.
- In 1866 Congress shrunk from 1o to 7 to prevent Andrew Johnson from appointing new justices. 3 years later they raised it to 9 where it has remained.
- 6 Justices have been confirmed by the Senate without any recorded opposing vote (many votes were done by voice vote, so the number of nayes was not recorded being too small to justify a formal vote).