The Constitution is not partisan

Print Article

When principle is subordinated to partisanship, we are building a different America.

ONE COULD CALL this Exhibit A in illustrating just how far the federal government has fallen into the rabid partisan trap.

Or, if one prefers, it could be called a glaring example of the hypocrisy of the political class.

But perhaps it may best be characterized for showing how unbridled partisanship leads to disrespect for the U.S. Constitution.

Let's explain.

ON TUESDAY, speaking to the Chamber of Commerce in Paducah, Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked this question: "Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling the spot?"

McConnell responded, with a smile: "Oh, we'd fill it."

Books have been written about modern Americans' painfully short attention span and memory, so a refresher course is in order. When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died then-President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, chief appellate court judge in Washington, to succeed him. McConnell immediately said the Senate would not confirm Garland, or even hold hearings, because Obama was in his last year of office and no nomination should be considered during an election year. The Senate, he said, had to wait so voters could make their decision. McConnell refused to budge and Garland's nomination languished for 293 days until President Trump was inaugurated and picked a new nominee.

Four years later, why is there a different answer? A McConnell spokesperson explained that, "This time, both (White House and Senate) are controlled by the GOP."

HERE'S WHAT THE Constitution says: "He (the President) shall have power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate ... (to) appoint ... Judges of the Supreme Court ..."

It does not say anything about limiting a president's appointment power because an election is approaching.

And it certainly doesn't say anything about appointment power being dependent upon which party controls the White House and/or Senate.

This is a total, hypocritical power play invented in the fertile partisan mind of Mitch McConnell. Citizens should know it for what it is - a cynical abuse of the Constitution's clear language.

Excessive partisanship - and both sides have been guilty - is splitting this country into angry, mean-spirited, hateful factions. The result will be a weaker America, increasingly vulnerable to its enemies foreign and domestic. When constitutional principle no longer prevails, replaced by the raw exercise of partisan power, future generations surely stand to inherit a very different country.

Print Article

Read More Editorials

Yes, it's legal; but is it right?

June 17, 2019 at 10:21 am | Here's the test: Would your side howl if it happened to them? AN OLD SAYING most folks have heard at one time or another: There's legal, and then there's right. We're reminded of that thought aft...

Comments

Read More

Life ought to work like that

June 17, 2019 at 10:21 am | Please, Mr. President, let's not go down that road again. LAST WEEK, in an interview with ABC News, President Trump responded to a question about how he'd handle a foreign entity offering dirt on ...

Comments

Read More

Good planning for legalized pot

June 10, 2019 at 10:15 am | Along the border, Illinois marijuana decision will pose many issues. THIS MAY BE the question of the year once Illinois fully legalizes recreational marijuana: Will there be a traffic jam solid on...

Comments

Read More

Time to find another space

June 03, 2019 at 10:05 am | South Beloit's City Park is an unreliable base for recreation. IT'S A TOUGH THING to acknowledge, but South Beloit's City Park probably should be surrendered to the vicissitues of Mother Nature. ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2019 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X