“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd falsely claimed Sunday that no one had made “footnotes” in 2016 indicating that the rules for Supreme Court nominations depended on the balance of power between the White House and the Senate.
Todd made the claim while speaking to Republican Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt about his party’s plan to go ahead with the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom President Donald Trump nominated to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (RELATED: ‘A Lot Of Things That Are Constitutional Are Stupid’: Laurence Tribe Blasts Amy Coney Barrett Nomination)
Todd began by noting the polls, asking Blunt why Republicans would go ahead with the confirmation process when polling suggested the people might prefer to see a nomination go forward after the election.
Blunt explained that the Senate should only be concerned with the two requirements set by the Constitution — a presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. He went on to point out that nominations were consistently made during election years, and that when the Senate and the president were in political agreement, confirmation was all but assured.
“I said when President Obama made his nomination, that not only would he want to make a nomination that he was probably constitutionally obligated, to make an obligation and the other half of that necessary formula just wasn’t there to get that done and now it is there,” Blunt added.
“Do you regret the hypocritical argument you guys made four years ago creating this — this sort of standard out of thin air and then backtracking on it four years later?” Todd asked. “I know you guys came up with these footnotes that says it depends on who controls the Senate. Senator Blunt, nobody made those footnotes in 2016, it was crystal clear to the American public what your views are. Are you concerned that the party looks like a bunch of hypocrites four weeks before the election?”
Blunt replied that he had made such “footnotes” in 2016 — and he wasn’t the only one.
George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley quoted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as saying on February 22, 2016, “Remember that the Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was divided government since 1888, almost 130 years ago.”
…Todd has repeatedly told NBC viewers that no such statements were ever made. Statements like McConnell’s on Feb. 22, 2016: “remember that the Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was divided government since 1888, almost 130 years ago.”
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) September 27, 2020
President Donald Trump officially nominated Barrett to the high court Saturday, and the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up the confirmation process in the coming days.