Biden in 2016: POTUS Has 'Constitutional Duty' to Fill SCOTUS Seat Before Election
Democrat presidential candidate's remarks from 4 years ago come back to haunt him
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been slammed for hypocrisy after his own passionate words from 2016 on the Supreme Court have come back to haunt him.
After news broke on Friday of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, Joe Biden was quick to join other Democrats in calling for a nomination to fill her SCOTUS seat to be delayed until after the November election.
However, a 2016 op-ed has now reemerged in which Biden blasts Republicans for holding up a Supreme Court appointment.
In the March '16 piece for the New York Times, he declares that it is the "constitutional duty" of a president to nominate if a vacancy becomes available, even if it's an election year.
He added that he was "surprised and saddened" to hear Republican senators say they would no longer accept a nomination because it was an election year.
His remarks resurfaced after he attacked President Donald Trump for moving to nominate a candidate to fill the vacancy left by Ginsburg.
Biden claimed that the nomination should wait until after the election in 44 days, according to The Daily Mail.
Trump hit back at Biden Saturday night, calling on the former Vice President to release his own list of potential Supreme Court picks and accusing him of being afraid to alienate voters by releasing the names ahead of November 3.
On Friday, shortly after Ginsburg's death as the political battle about her replacement began, Biden tweeted his opposition to Trump attempting to push through a nominee in the next 40-plus days.
'Let me be clear: The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg,' he wrote.
Let me be clear: The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 19, 2020
Yet on numerous occasions in 2016, he hit out at Republicans for saying the same.
Joe Biden in 2016: "I would go forward with a confirmation process as chairman, *even a few months before a presidential election,* if the nominee were chosen with the advice, and not merely the consent, of the Senate, just as the Constitution requires.pic.twitter.com/eAdrDigc8S— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) September 19, 2020
"The president has the constitutional duty to nominate; the Senate has the constitutional obligation to provide advice and consent," he wrote in the Time op-ed on the subject.
"It is written plainly in the Constitution that both presidents and senators swear an oath to uphold and defend."
"That’s why I was so surprised and saddened to see Republican leaders tell President Obama and me that they would not even consider a Supreme Court nominee this year," he added.
"No meetings. No hearings. No votes. Nothing. It is an unprecedented act of obstruction.
"And it risks a stain on the legacy of all those complicit in carrying out this plan."
Biden has previously said that if a vacancy opens before summer in an election year, he believes the president has the green light to pick nominees.
In the last few weeks before voters head to the polls, however, he thinks they should be held off.
This has often been called the "Biden Rule" after the then-Senator made a 1992 speech encouraging a Supreme Court vacancy to be pushed post-election.
After rumors surfaced in mid-June that a Justice was soon to retire, Biden claimed it "would create immense political acrimony" to nominate too close to the election.
"So I called on the president to wait until after the election to submit a nomination if a sitting justice were to create a vacancy by retiring before November," he wrote.
"And if the president declined to do that, I recommended that the Judiciary Committee not hold hearings 'until after the political campaign season is over.'
"I know there is an argument that no nominee should be voted on in the last year of a presidency," Biden continued.
"But there is nothing in the Constitution — or our history — to support this view.
"Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was confirmed in the last year of Ronald Reagan’s second term.
"I know. I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee at the time.
"And we promptly gave him a hearing, a vote in committee and a full vote on the floor."
In another 2016 speech broadcast by PBS, Biden made his position on moving forward with a nomination in an election year clear.
"I would go forward with a confirmation process as chairman, even a few months before a presidential election, if the nominee were chosen with the advice, and not merely the consent, of the Senate, just as the Constitution requires," he said.
"My consistent advice to presidents of both parties, including this president [Obama] has been that we should engage fully in the constitutional process of advice and consent.
"And my consistent understanding of the constitution has been, the Senate must do so as well. Period.
"They have an obligation to do so."
Despite arguments from Biden and Democrats, Trump revealed at a rally in North Carolina on Saturday night that there was still enough time to effectively vet a nominee in the 44 days left before the election.