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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.

Fast forward nearly a century later to 2013. Democrats had a Senate majority at the time and voted to employ the “nuclear option,” a procedure that allows the Senate to “override a rule or precedent by a simple majority of 51 votes, instead of by a supermajority of 60 votes,” with the exception of Supreme Court nominees. The rule passed with a 52-48 vote. Republicans were obviously not pleased with this change of rule because the Democrats had 55 members in the Senate, which would allow them to pass many of President Obama’s appointments with any filibustering from a Republican senator to be of little to no impact.

In 2013 Democrats should have taken into account that their nuclear option could be very easily used against them in the future. Republicans should realize that applying the nuclear option to the Supreme Court could be very easily used against them in the future, as well. 

The hypocrisy does not stop in Congress, however. As unfortunate as it may seem or how much we may want to deny it, that same hypocrisy is carried out at home with the voters. We seem to applaud filibustering when it comes from people we agree with or from the party we support. We see them as political heroes taking a stand, or simply politicians doing their jobs; what we voted them in to do. When it comes from people we disagree with or from an opposing party, we see their acts of filibustering as a waste of time or delay of progress. While I’m sure we can come up with a list of reasons why our party’s filibusters are more productive than the others’, it is still hypocritical. 

With today’s power and publicity of social media, it is rather simple to let our senators know how we feel. Our job is to tell them. Tell them when we want a judge nominated or a bill repealed and replaced. Your senator’s job is to listen to and act upon the voters’ wishes. For that is the beauty of democracy; We the People can influence even our highest elected officials.

RELATED: The Most Effective Ways To Contact Your Senators And Representative, From A Former Staffer

Jenee C
Jenee is a Christian, Conservative (obviously) who stands up for her beliefs no matter who disapproves. When she's not studying or working you can find her reading, writing, or exercising. She loves God, her family, America, and coffee, in that order!

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