When the shoe was on the other foot, the Republicans made the same arguments as the Democrats are making today, and the Democrats made the same arguments as the Republicans are now making.
The obvious reason, in both cases, is that the party controlling the Senate wants to save the appointment for their own candidate for the Presidency to make after winning election.
Various Democrats who are currently denouncing the Republican Senate, including Vice President Biden, have used very similar arguments against letting lame-duck Republican Presidents appoint Supreme Court justices.
Last week, the New York Times ran a front-page “news” story about something Chief Justice John Roberts had said, more than a month ago, prior to the death of Justice Scalia, under the headline “Stern Rebuke For Senators.”
Since Justice Scalia was still alive then, and there was no Supreme Court vacancy to fill at the time, Chief Justice Roberts’ remarks had nothing to do with the current controversy. Nor were these remarks news after such a long lapse of time. But this was part of a pattern of the New York Times’ disguising editorials as front-page news stories.
In short, the political hypocrisy was matched by journalistic hypocrisy. Indeed, there was more than a little judicial hypocrisy in Chief Justice Roberts’ complaint that Senate confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominees do not confine themselves to the nominees’ judicial qualifications, rather than their conservative or liberal orientations.
If judges confined themselves to acting like judges, instead of legislating from the bench, creating new “rights” out of thin air that are nowhere to be found in the Constitution, maybe Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees would not be such bitter and ugly ideological battles.
Chief Justice Roberts himself practically repealed the 10th Amendment’s limitation on federal power when he wrote the decision that the government could order us all to buy Obamacare insurance policies. When judges act like whores, they can hardly expect to be treated like nuns.
Politicians, journalists and judges should all spare us pious hypocrisy.