The Schumer Doctrine

By Tom Quiner

First there was the Biden Doctrine.

Then-Senator, Joe Biden, intoned in 1992 that President George H.W. Bush should “not name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”

Even more, the Senate Judiciary Committee “should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until AFTER the political campaign season is over.” [Emphasis mine.]

In other words, if a vacancy arose on the Court during an election year, the current president should take a pass on nominating a replacement and defer to the newly-elected president.

In 2007, Chuck Schumer embraced the Biden Doctrine, doubling down on their obstructionist philosophy in this speech to the American Constitution Society:

“We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances. They must prove by actions not words that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not.”

In other words, a Republican nominee should be held to a higher standard than one nominated by a Democratic president.

Republicans listened.

They adopted the Biden/Schumer doctrines last year when the seat of Justice Scalia became open, and never called hearings for Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

Democrats were enraged, even though Republicans simply followed their cue.

As payback, Mr. Schumer is taking his Doctrine to the next level by promising a filibuster on this, and every Trump nominee hereafter, effectively subverting the Constitution by requiring 60 votes for judges nominated by a Republican president. This has never happened in the history of our Republic.

The next step is predictable: Republicans will take a cue from former Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who employed the “nuclear” option which took the filibuster off the table for lower court nominees.

Current Senator Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, will simply honor these precedents established by the opposition party, ensuring that Neil Gorsuch becomes our next member of the Supreme Court.