Message to lawmakers: don't use principle as an excuse for intransigence
From the moment Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, Democrat lawmakers have trumpeted their intention to block whatever nominee President Trump puts forward in every way possible.
It's a pity they didn't learn from their failed attempt to block Justice Neil Gorsuch from his ascension to the Nine. With that in mind, I revisit these thoughts from January 2017.
In 1932, President Herbert Hoover appointed Benjamin Cardozo to the Supreme Court. The president was a conservative Republican. Justice Cardozo was seen as a liberal Democrat -- but he was also recognized as the greatest legal mind in the country.
President Hoover certainly would have preferred a conservative, but he knew the country wouldn’t stand for him to choose a supreme court nominee based on politics. He nominated Benjamin Cardozo, who was approved by the Senate -- unanimously .
As recently as 1986, the Senate confirmed conservative firebrand Antonin Scalia without a single opposing vote, and in 1993 uber-liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg sailed through confirmation with only 3 dissensions. It wasn’t so long ago that our politicians’ top priority was to keep the system working.
But times have changed. Over the years, the votes have become increasingly partisan, until Neil Gorsuch faced a nasty confirmation battle, despite being as solid a nominee as anyone could reasonably expect.
Back in the day, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were two of the fiercest rivals in the history of American politics. But their vastly different ideologies didn’t prevent them from respecting one another and valuing each other as colleagues and even as friends.
That was because each one recognized the sincerity and integrity of the other. Despite their differences, there was no reason for acrimony.
King Solomon says that Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions. Instead of vilifying those with whom we disagree while giving a free pass to those on our side, let’s love truth and all those who genuinely pursue it, regardless of which party they belong to.
Photo credit: Mark Fischer