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Op-ed Placement

Joe Biden Can’t Spin His History of Politicizing Supreme Court Nominees

Originally Published in RedState on 2/24/16.

The White House is hilariously trying to downplay a speech made by Vice President Joe Biden in June 1992 when he served as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Biden urged then-President George H.W. Bush not to name a Supreme Court nominee in an election year.

Of course, Biden didn’t simply say that Bush shouldn’t name a nominee. He said “the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”

Like, Barack Obama, who now conveniently says he “regrets” participating in the failed 2006 filibuster of Samuel Alito, Biden is trying to spin his comments as no big deal. He protested the coverage of his remarks by saying that he “ensured the prompt and fair consideration of nine Supreme Court Justices and the current Senate has a constitutional duty to do the same.”

“I presided over the process that resulted in Justice Kennedy, a Reagan nominee, being confirmed to the Supreme Court in a presidential election year,” he added. “I allowed the nominations of Judge Bork and Justice Thomas to proceed to the floor, even though they didn’t have the support of the committee.”

Biden’s more recent comments don’t paint the full picture of his role in the Reagan- and Bush-era confirmation battles. After Justice Lewis Powell retired, Reagan, in July 1987, nominated Robert Bork, who was, just five years earlier confirmed by the Senate to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by a voice vote.