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Bragging: Confirmation shouldn’t have been guaranteed

Confirmation shouldn’t have been guaranteed

Last week, it appeared as though U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., were letting the nation know it did not matter who President Donald Trump nominated to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. They were confident they already had the votes to confirm any nominee placed before them.

“We got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election,” Graham told a cable newsertainment network. “We are going to move forward in the committee. We’re going to report the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election.”

Again, at that time, neither Graham nor McConnell had officially been given the name of a nominee.

Regardless of how you feel about the president or his nominee, whom we now know is Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (hearing appeals from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin), Graham and McConnell were misguided in thumping their chests in declaration of victory before they even had a name in front of them. If they are intent on making the decision that best serves the American people — confirming the right person for the job — there would have been no harm in waiting to actually know who the president had in mind before guaranteeing the advice and consent of the Senate to nominate that person.

It’s a bad look, and does Barrett a disservice, as those who resent Graham’s and McConnell’s bragging are now more likely to resist her nomination. Senators — regardless of the letter after their last names or whether Senate leadership believes their votes are already in the bag — must conduct thorough and fair confirmation proceedings and then decide how they will vote.

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