Image Credits: NBC News
We’ve seen hypocrisy from both sides of the political aisle when it comes to policies and procedures, but recently we’ve seen this especially when it comes to Supreme Court nominations. What is right and what is wrong when it comes to when justices should be nominated and how many votes are needed to nominate them? Both Democrats and Republicans flip-flop on their answers depending on who is in the majority, so it’s up to We the People to determine what should be done under all circumstances.
Before we can decide what is right and who is hypocritical, let’s take a look at the Supreme Court Justice nominating process as well as Senate legislative history.
In order for a Supreme Court Justice to be confirmed the following steps have to be completed: the president has to nominate someone, the Senate Judiciary Committee has to review him or her, a confirmation hearing has to be held, the Committee has to pass him or her with a majority vote, and the Senate must confirm him or her with 60 votes. The last step, requiring the Senate to have 60 votes to pass, has been under discussion and negotiation for quite some time outside of the Supreme Court.
It began in 1917 when a rule known as “Cloture,” was adopted by the Senate. The Cloture Rule allows the Senate to end debate and pass a bill with a 2/3 majority vote. In 1975, the required majority was reduced again two a 3/5, 60 vote, majority. This ultimately left less time for filibustering, and therefore allowed bills to be passed quickly.