It was just a year ago when we first began hearing chants of “we need nine,” from former President Obama and Vice President Biden, Senate Democrats and their special interest groups.
To many of us, it appeared to be a simple case of amnesia. They obviously had simply forgotten that both Senator Reid and Senator Schumer had declared that George W. Bush would get no Supreme Court nominees through the Democratic Senate more than 18 months before the end of his term.
Or, even in 1992 when then-Senator Biden made clear his intentions in a long, detailed speech on the Senate floor outlining the reasons why the Senate wouldn’t consider a Supreme Court nominee of George H.W. Bush in his final year.
Despite this precedent, Senate Democrats and their special interest groups continued to demand—even after the election—that “we need nine.”
It’s become abundantly clear that if the Democrats are willing to filibuster somebody with the credentials, judicial temperament and independence of Judge Gorsuch, it’s obvious they would filibuster anybody.
Over the course of the past year I said that if I remained chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 2017, we’d move forward with a hearing for the Supreme Court nominee regardless of who was elected president.
To the surprise of many Senate Democrats, in November the American people elected Donald Trump. Suddenly we need nine became a hypocritical eight is enough, just like it was in 1992 and 2007.