Biden in 2016: SCOTUS confirmation can happen ‘a few months before a presidential election’ if Senate is involved

By Mary Margaret Olohan

Former vice president Joe Biden said in 2016 that he would have considered a Supreme Court justice nominee in an election year if the president had consulted the Senate on the nominee.

“I would go forward with the confirmation process as chairman even a few months before a presidential election. If the nominee were chosen with the advice and not merely the consent of the Senate just as the constitution requires,” Biden said during a 2016 speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The Democratic presidential nominee said Friday night that it would be improper for the Senate to vote on replacing former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who died Friday, without “full consideration.”

“Let me be clear, the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, said Friday. “This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That’s the position the United States Senate must take today.”

As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Biden said in a 1992 speech that when a Supreme Court vacancy occurs in “the full throes of an election year,” the president should follow the example of “a majority of his predecessors” and hold off on making a nomination, the New York Times reported. If the president did make a SCOTUS nomination, Biden said the Senate should wait to hold a vote.

“Some will criticize such a decision and say that it was nothing more than an attempt to save a seat on the court in hopes that a Democrat will be permitted to fill it, but that would not be our intention,” Biden said in 1992. “It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is underway, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.”

But Biden said in March 2016 that he would have gone “forward with the confirmation process” if the president had consulted the Senate, and said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans had selectively quoted his 1992 comments to justify not holding a vote on Chief Judge Merrick Garland.

At the time, former President Barack Obama was preparing to nominate Garland to replace former Justice Antonin Scalia, the Times reported.

“There’s no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off years — that’s not in the constitutional text,” Obama said at the time, according to the publication.

“So let me set the record straight as they say, I said and I quote ‘if the President consults and cooperates with the Senate or moderates his selections then his nominees may enjoy my support as did Justice (Anthony) Kennedy and Justice (David) Souter,’” Biden said during the speech at Georgetown University.

Biden said he “made it absolutely clear” that he would have proceeded with a nomination if the Senate had been consulted on the pick.

Biden did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Image courtesy of Library of Congress

3 thoughts on “Biden in 2016: SCOTUS confirmation can happen ‘a few months before a presidential election’ if Senate is involved

  1. Yes there’s a video on twitter of all the loser leftist including our
    numba 1 and 2 stooges. So if leaky leahy or commie burnee say
    Trump has to wait their lying more then usual.

  2. This change of position by Biden tends to point a number of serious flaws in this man’s mental equity or character. He either can’t remember what he said as recently as four years ago or he does not have the back bone to deal with the pressure placed upon him by the lefties to oppose the replacement of Ginsburg. If he gets elected, he will be Bernie’s puppet or look out here comes Kamala and the Harris administration. Either way, the country is the ultimate loser.

  3. If you listen to Democrats the president should wait, sure like they would wait
    if the ball was in there court !!

    It’s the Presidents job to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, there is no time
    table to when the vacancy should be filled and it’s the Senates job to confirm this
    nominee when ever presented to them……….

    We use to have a filibuster in the Senate, but the Democrats ” Harry Reid ” changed
    this to the majority vote in the senate, to fit his ” agenda ” foolishness has all sorts of
    consequences, Well the Republicans now have the majority, so cry Dems cry.

    Democrats, you changed the rules, and the President and the Senate are playing by
    your rules, all is fair in love & war ………… you started the war.

    We need Constitutionalist in the courts, not agenda-driven Liberal hacks, so ” Fill The
    Seat ” Mr. President .

    with all the shenanigans the
    dems have pulled over the last thr

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