MANCHESTER, N.H. – With President Donald Trump set to nominate a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, U.S. Senate Candidate Corky Messner (R-NH) attacked Democrats seeking to stall the nomination process or add additional Supreme Court justices in the future.
Messner scorned Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for his statement that “nothing would be off the table” if Republicans followed through with the nomination process just weeks before November’s election, stating that Trump has the constitutional right and obligation to nominate someone for the vacancy.
Messner also added that a ninth justice would be significant to avoid any 4-4 ties on the court that could arise if there are legal challenges to the election.
Democrats have voiced concerns over the nomination process due to an apparent double standard from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). In 2016, McConnell and Senate Republicans stalled the President Barack Obama’s nomination of DC Circuit Court Justice Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, citing that it was inappropriate to decide upon a Supreme Court justice during an presidential election year.
The only other time in U.S. History would not confirm an official nomination to the Supreme Court during a presidential election year came in 1844, when four nominees proposed by John Tyler did not receive a hearing. The last successful nomination during a presidential election year came in 1940.
Messner also stressed the importance of keeping the filibuster in the Senate, something discussed in relation to Schumer’s comment, with removal of the filibuster critical to any hope of adding seats to the Supreme Court.
Messner believed Democrats sought to remove the filibuster because they felt they would regain the majority in the chamber, something he believes will not happen. He also stated his view that New Hampshire residents see the importance of a filibuster in the U.S. Senate in regard to protecting citizens from a tyranny of the majority.
He also attacked Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden for not releasing a list of potential Supreme Court nominees he would appoint if elected, also stating his position on the size of the court could change depending on political expediency.
Messner also believed that any concerns about particular actions by future Supreme Courts were more fitting for law school classrooms, stating that once nominated, justices often rule in ways not expected prior to nomination.
“History tells us that trying to predict how justices will rule on any particular case is not a fruitful exercise,” he said. “It’s pure speculation and not appropriate to get into those discussions at this point.”
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who Messner hopes to unseat this November, released a statement earlier this week believing that it was appropriate to respect the precedent set by McConnell in 2016 and noting the importance of the decision.
“It is in the best interest of our country to allow the American people to decide who will select the next nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. This next justice will determine the future of civil rights and voting rights, health care access, and reproductive freedoms for every American, and the voices of the people should be heard,” said Shaheen. “The election has begun, with people across the country voting and Granite Staters set to cast their ballots in mere weeks. I will fight to protect their votes and their voices in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice.”