John wrote yesterday about Democratic Hawaii Senator Maize Hirono and how men should “just shut up.” But fortunately for us, she didn’t shut up herself. In fact, she wound up having plenty more to say, specifically about her party’s long-term plans for filling a vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Or perhaps we should say… not filling it. For two years.
The Free Beacon picked up some of her additional comments as she put on a sweeping media tour regarding the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The Senator appeared to let the mask slip for a moment when she indicated that she’d be just fine with having eight Justices on the Supreme Court until after the Democrats have another swing at President Trump in 2020.
Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono (D.) said Democrats could keep the open seat on the Supreme Court vacant until after the 2020 election if Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination collapses and Democrats regain control of the Senate in November.
Hirono pointed to the long vacancy of Antonin Scalia’s former seat as a justification for holding off on confirming any nominee from President Donald Trump. When Barack Obama was president and Republicans held the Senate, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not hold a vote on Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, and Hirono said Democrats could do the same if they had the Senate.
“I think we’ve had those kinds of vacancies before, and we certainly had over a one-year vacancy with Merrick Garland,” Hirono told Politico Magazine. “So the world does not come to an end because we don’t fill all of the nominees.”
This seemed to be one of those cases where a politician starts talking and then can’t seem to put the brakes on even after it’s obvious they’re going over a cliff. After stating that it was no big deal to have the seat open for at least two and a half years (the minimum amount of time it would take to seat a new Democratic president, have them nominate someone and then confirm them), Hirono undercut her entire argument. She quickly pivoted to saying that it was basically against the law to do precisely what she is proposing.
“There is a law enacted nearly 150 years ago that says that the Supreme Court shall consist of nine justices, which also presumes that when a vacancy occurs, the President will nominate a replacement and the Senate will provide advice and consent. In my view, this law is violated when Senate Republicans say that it’s ok to leave a vacancy unfilled for over a year.”
In less than three minutes, Hirono went from saying the world doesn’t come to an end if they don’t fill all the vacancies to calling it a violation of the law. So apparently she’s just fine with violating the law, providing it benefits the Democrats. Thanks for your feedback, Senator.
Let’s be very clear about this. Hirono is only saying out loud what the rest of her colleagues in the Senate minority are thinking. The current debate over alleged sexual harassment from Kavanaugh’s high school days has nothing to do with delivering justice for the accuser. It’s about organizing a delay until next year when her party hopes to take back the Senate majority. (That remains within the realm of possibility.) And if they do, there will be no vote on any of President Trump’s nominees for more than two years. And that should leave Chuck Grassley and the rest of the Senate majority with one very clear mandate. Invite the accuser to appear on Monday and make her case. Whether she shows up or not is immaterial. The next step is mandatory.
Schedule. The. Vote.