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Sen. Lindsey Graham Destroys Sen. Patrick Leahy Over Garland Question

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) destroyed Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for opening up his questioning of Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch by ranting about Judge Merrick Garland on Tuesday.

“You’re not a political person, I am. So I’m going to take a bit of a moment to talk about the fairness of what’s going on in terms of you and Judge Garland. Judge Garland was a fine man. I’m sure I would have voted for him,” Graham started off.

Graham then read “The Biden Rule,” which states, “Once the political season is under way, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.”

“That was Joe Biden [talking about] the possibility of a vacancy coming about by somebody stepping down, not dying, once the campaign season was afoot,” Graham explained.

Graham then pointed out how Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February and that “there had already been three primaries. The campaign season, in my view, was afoot.”

Graham goes on to read comments made by former-Senate Minority Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2005, “The duties of the United States Senate are set forth in the Constitution of the United States. Nowhere in that document does it say the Senate has a duty to give presidential nominees “an up or down vote.”

After that, Graham read a statement made in 2007 Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances.”

Graham also pointed out how those comments made by Schumer were in the last year of President Bush’s term.

Then Graham goes on to point out how Senate Democrats are the ones elected to change the rules of the Senate by imposing the nuclear option and cites it as the reason why the United States Senate finds itself in this situation.

“I believe that that vote November 21, 2013, forever changed the way the Senate works when it comes to executive appointments, judicial nominations and will do long-term damage to the judiciary as a whole. Because the most ideological will be rewarded,” Graham tells the committee.

Graham continued, “I thought it was a manufactured crisis. I thought it was politically motivated. And when it comes to cries of being unfair, they fall on deaf ears.”

“I fully expected Trump to lose. He won. I think he deserves the right of every president to pick qualified people,” Graham went on to say about his support of the “Biden Rule.”

Graham then read from Federalist Papers number 76, which states:

“The Senate could not be tempted, by the preference they might feel to another, to reject the one proposed; because they could not assure themselves, that the person they might wish would be brought forward by a second or by any subsequent nomination. They could not even be certain, that a future nomination would present a candidate in any degree more acceptable to them; and as their dissent might cast a kind of stigma upon the individual rejected, and might have the appearance of a reflection upon the judgment of the chief magistrate, it is not likely that their sanction would often be refused, where there were not special and strong reasons for the refusal.”

“To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity. In addition to this, it would be an efficacious source of stability in the administration.”

“I’m here to say that in November 2013, the game changed in a way that I think Mr. Hamilton, I think, would be very disappointed in,” Graham concluded.