Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch laid down the law on CNN this week, calling “total B.S.” on one commentator’s opinion that what was happening to Judge Neil Gorsuch was the same thing that happened to Judge Merrick Garland last February.
Hatch was not going to stay quiet on this one.
During the Monday broadcast, Hatch appeared as a guest and was questioned by CNN anchors John Berman and Poppy Harlow. Berman characterized the situation with Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, as a “double standard” in relation to what happened with Merrick, former President Barack Obama’s SCOTUS pick.
Many Democrats have had their panties in a bunch after Republicans in the Senate refused to hold a hearing for Garland, citing the fact that it was an election year and that choice should be left to the next president and not be a last ditch power move by a president about to leave office.
Democrats have now threatened to filibuster Gorsuch’s nomination, which raises the possibility of a rule change that would end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. Berman argued with Hatch, saying that the Republicans really can’t be mad about a Democrat filibuster because that would mean a “double standard” when the Republicans essentially did the same thing for Garland.
“So there seems to be a double standard where you’re saying, ‘It was all right last year when we, for political reasons, halted the nomination of Merrick Garland, but it’s not OK this year when Democrats try to halt the nomination of Judge Gorsuch. Why is that not a double standard?” Berman asked.
Hatch responded — very uncharacteristically as he is known for his statesmanlike speech and conduct — that the characterization made by Berman was “total B.S.”
“I’ll just tell you straight up. That’s total B.S. what you’re saying there, because I can’t go back in time and show you any case where, during a presidential election year, they’ve allowed a Supreme Court Justice to be nominated unless both sides agree,” Hatch retorted. “And both sides didn’t agree on (Garland).”
He later added that, at the end of the day, Republicans had “every right” to deny Garland any hearings during the election year.
“And at that time, keep in mind, it looked as though Hillary was a sure winner and we would have gotten an even more liberal judge than that one. But that was a stand on principle, not some new barbaric thing that some have tried to make it,” Hatch said.
You can see Orrin Hatch’s comments here: