The battle to tilt the Supreme Court

Supreme Court US 2010
Supreme Court US 2010

The adage, “If it bleeds, it leads,” is also saying: “If it’s negative, it’s attractive.”

I’m not the only one who’s really tired of the intentional negative. All of the major news channels, including cable, have so many shows under the umbrella of “news reporting,” coupled with numerous talk shows, viewers are saturated with hosts, pundits and people giving opinions that usually don’t mean squat because in the end reality will play out and then we’ll know the facts.

Each of them wants to be the one to give the “breaking news,” while many viewers simply want timely, solidly factual information.

The worst of the negative is the hyper-drama aspect. The more contrived the controversy, the more show hosts and guests can profile and try to hold an audience.

The latest example is the topic of replacing the Supreme Court chair vacated with the death of Antonin Scalia.

The old “mine’s bigger than yours” came into play early-on, and titanic hypocrisy is ubiquitous.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., voiced that the nomination should not take place until we have a new president.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., known for his ability to trample his mother to get in front of a TV camera, emerged early to condemn McConnell’s mindset and all Republicans who hold like views.

Shumer has no boundaries for self-embarrassment, and he proved it again with his present hypocritical stance.

In July 2007, with 18 months left in George W. Bush’s term, Schumer said: “We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances,” and “They must prove by actions, not words, that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not.”

Democrats in general erupted, demanding the process start as soon as President Obama can nominate someone.

The New York Times reported Democrats swinging into action with “part pep rally and part planning session, Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, and Neil Eggleston, the White House chief counsel, urged dozens of the president’s allies who were on the phone not to hold back in their condemnation of Republicans for refusing to hold hearings to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.”

It also reported the conservative side, quoting Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the law center: “The stakes are as high as anything we have dealt with in Washington in a decade. … This is not even the beginning of what this fight will be. It’s full-media, full-legal research, full-government affairs, full-throttle on this.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee speedily seized the opportunity to use McConnell’s stance of “this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president” to raise funds with a message to “tell Republicans to stop playing politics with the Supreme Court.”

They want Republicans held “accountable for their politically motivated insult to President Obama and their failure to uphold their constitutional duties.”

Without question, this group would be silent if the president were a Republican at this moment.

With all alacrity, George Soros’ and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee have already gathered at least 500,000 signatures to compel McConnell to consider nominees.

President Obama faced a huge hypocrisy challenge for his opinion to put a nominee in place before his term ends in 10-plus months, considering his 2007 open support, as a U.S. senator, to filibuster conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

When Obama’s duplicity confronted him a few days ago, he replied: “I think what’s fair to say is that how judicial nominations have evolved over time is not historically the fault of any single party,” adding, “This has become just one more extension of politics.”

In the same reply: “And there are times where folks are in the Senate, and they’re thinking, is this going to cause me problems in a primary? Is this going to cause me problems with supporters of mine? And so people take strategic decisions.”

White House spokesman Josh Ernest tried to soften the insincerity with a comment that Obama had regrets over “some Democrats … throwing sand in the gears of the confirmation process.”

All of this is to say that the wailing, hand-wringing and politics of this nomination process are clouding reality.

Like it or not, Barack Obama is the president of the United States. He has every legal and constitutional right to choose and then name a nominee he wants to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. Inarguably, nominating is his duty.

In the same vein, the U.S. Senate gets to evaluate and decide if it approves of the president’s nominee – period.

It’s that simple.

The task at hand is of monumental importance to Americans. To both sides: Grow up and do your jobs. Your posturing is burdensome, and we’re not positively impressed.

Betty Arenson is a Valencia resident who believes in the Constitution in its entirety and that laws should be upheld and apply to everyone equally.