One of the Democrats’ most laughable claims is their alleged devotion to the “rule of law.” By law, of course, they don’t mean the Constitution, nor do they mean federal statutes–e.g., those relating to immigration–which can be ignored whenever convenient. If they mean anything at all, they refer to rule by liberal lawyers.
Thus, the Supreme Court was sacrosanct when it was reliably turning out liberal opinions. The Court, in Democrats’ eyes, was not just the ultimate authority, it was immune from criticism in polite society. In those days, it was conservatives who pointed out that all branches of government had an obligation to follow, and where necessary to interpret, the Constitution and the laws.
All that is changed now. Liberals, dismayed that they have lost control over their favorite institution, at least for the moment, are telling Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats to “simply ignore” adverse decisions by the Supreme Court. Joe Stalin notoriously asked, “How many divisions has the Pope?” And Andrew Jackson may have said, but probably didn’t, “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.” Today’s Democrats are putting themselves in that august company:
Some reporters are calling on President Biden to ignore Supreme Court decisions that they believe are politically motivated.
Wow. If only Republican presidents, through the years, had had the option of ignoring “decisions that they believe are politically motivated!”
A blue-check Democrat opines:
The occasion apparently was a Supreme Court order that stayed a lower court ruling that would have thrown out a Trump-era rule in anticipation of a proposed change to the rule by the Biden administration. This strikes me as entirely routine: a rule adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act remains in place unless and until it is superseded or revoked pursuant to the APA. An expressed intention to try to change the rule has zero legal effect. In any event, it hardly seems an occasion to revisit Marbury vs. Madison.
But the Democrats persisted. A New York Times columnist weighed in:
Someone should have brought that up when the Court decided Roe v. Wade. More from Politico contributing editor Joshua Zeitz:
“Erosion of democratic norms” means the Democrats lost one. Still, it is an interesting theory: any nominee who doesn’t get a vote will be deemed confirmed. That isn’t what the Constitution says, of course: Article II, Section 2 provides that the president may appoint judges and other senior officers only with the “consent of the Senate,” while Congress may permit lesser officials to be appointed by the president alone. But no one expects liberals to have any knowledge of the Constitution.
Let’s ask a more practical question: does the principle of no vote = confirmation apply to the dozens or hundreds of Republican appointees who have not been given a vote by Democratic-controlled Senates in recent years? Miguel Estrada is one of many names that come to mind. How different things might be if the Democrats ever applied their principles consistently! But of course, no one expects that.