When “Principled Constitutionalists” Put Politics Over the Constitution

Watch the first five minutes of this CNN interview with Texas Senator Ted Cruz:

Cruz is rejoicing today that Trump nominated a “principled Constitutionalist” to the Supreme Court.  He is not alone.  Conservatives all over the country are singing the praises of Neil Gorsuch.  As I argued last night, it seems Gorsuch is more than qualified to serve on the bench.  But what disgusts me is the hypocrisy of it all.  “Principled Constitutionalists” like Cruz DID NOT FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION with the Merrick Garland pick.  In this interview Cruz said that he and his fellow GOP Senators thought it was best to keep open the seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia because it was an election year and “the people” should be able to decide who the next Supreme Court justice should be through their choice for POTUS.  That may sound like a reasonable request, but it has no Constitutional support.  The Constitution requires the POTUS to nominate a justice and the Senate to advise and consent.  In this case, the Senate did not fulfill its duty.  It did not follow the Constitution.  So please spare me the “principled Constitutionalist” language.

Ted Cruz is a product of the Christian Right’s rise in the 1980s.  He has no political career without the culture wars.  He touts his credentials as a strict constitutionalist but he is really just another politician who will depart from his constitutional principles at the drop of a hat if he can gain political points.

I would love to hear what Gorsuch thinks about the Senate’s failure to give Garland a hearing?  Heck, I wish I could hear what Scalia would have thought about it.

4 thoughts on “When “Principled Constitutionalists” Put Politics Over the Constitution

  1. Sam: I’m not buying any of this. Sorry.

    1. “if the shoe was on the other foot” is not an argument. I am hoping that the Dems do not hold up Gorsuch and take the high road.
    2. Obama appointed Garland. It is the job of the Senate to advise and consent. They did not advise or consent. They failed to do their duty.
    3. There is nothing in the Constitution that says the Senate cannot delay. Fair enough. But this right to delay is not in the Constitution. What happened to originalism, Sam?
    4. And let’s just say that there IS a right to delay. Then how long is the Senate going to continue to delay on giving an up or down vote to Garland? We are waiting.
    5. And the Senate did not “withold consent.” This requires a hearing and a vote in the Senate. Why does one guy from Kentucky get to decide?


  2. You are correct that holding up Garland was political. But let’s not kid ourselves, if the shoe was on the other foot, do we really believe it would have been any different? Also, I am not clear on how holding up an appointment is not following the Constitution. The Senate’s role is “advice and consent.” There is nothing that prohibits delay or withholding of consent. Consenting or not consenting to an appointment is the prerogative of the Senate. Having said that, I do understand the frustration that follows from not holding in due course a hearing and vote for Garland. But not doing so is more a matter of decorum than constitutionality.


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