Justice Kennedy’s Retirement: Unfounded Arrogance from the Left

| June 28, 2018

This past Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he would retire from his position on the Supreme Court of the United States. His decision will surely spark a battle between liberal values and conservative principles as our nation’s leaders will eventually vote to confirm a nominee from President Trump.

As the media began to report the news, statements emerged from politicians across the political spectrum. Liberal congressional leaders reacted nervously and with demands that the vote be delayed until after this fall’s midterm elections.

Republican party leaders in Congress welcomed the opportunity to be able to nominate and confirm a judge, for the nation’s top court, that exhibits a conservative ideology.

The reaction from the nation’s congressional and legal leaders shows a deep sense of hypocrisy strongly exhibited by Democratic leaders. Their vacuous claim that the nomination needs to be delayed until after the Fall 2018 midterm elections is unfounded and demonstrates an intense sense of arrogance.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the leading Democrat in the Senate, is calling for a moratorium on the vote because he claims Republicans did the same in 2016 when Senator Mitch McConnell never held a hearing for President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, on the basis that it was too close to a national election.

However, Schumer’s statement is deeply hypocritical considering that this year, the country will vote in an off-year midterm election. It is not a national election nor is there a majority of seats up for vote in the Senate. A total of thirty-three seats will go to the polls; twenty-four of which are currently filled by Democrats.

Schumer’s assertion that the Senate must wait shows also a sense of arrogance. He is assuming that the Democratic party will win enough seats in the midterm election which would force President Trump to nominate a centrist.

The pompousness and hubris that Schumer’s statement demonstrates are exactly the same characteristics that helped Donald Trump win the presidency in 2016. Hillary Clinton’s espousement of white working class voters, her reliance on poll data and her absence from several swing states close to the election day are some of the factors that, many agree, led to her loss.

A 2016 article in US News and World Report says the following: “It’s no surprise that the hierarchy of the Clinton campaign leadership was insular and self-assured. But DNC staffers say the team’s presumptuous, know-it-all attitude caused it to ignore early warning signs of electoral trouble inside the states, and demoralized DNC staff who felt largely marginalized or altogether neglected for most of the campaign.”

Schumer’s contention that the confirmation must be held after the election demonstrates that he is as  “insular and self-assured,” as Hillary was during the election. It caused her demise; when will it cause his?

Peter Thomann is a student at Fordham University and an intern for the Center for Family and Human Rights.