Despite What Heidi Heitkamp Says, The Senate Has No Duty To Consider Obama's Supreme Court Nominee

heidi heitkamp

Yesterday Senator Heidi Heitkamp took to the Senate floor to lecture her colleagues about Supreme Court appointments, saying they should considering any nomination President Barack Obama sends them because they’re just like construction workers or something.

“Imagine a construction worker in North Dakota telling his boss that he doesn’t want to do his job for the rest of the year until the conditions are possibly more favorable. He might get a good laugh. He might be told to get back to work and if he was serious, he wouldn’t have a job very long,” said Heitkamp (full video above).

Here’s the thing, though. Senators aren’t construction workers. Making that sort of a comparison is silly and simplistic to the point of being kind of stupid.

The Constitution gives the Senate veto power over Supreme Court appointments. While Democrats like Heitkamp may not like that the Republican majority in the Senate considers any nomination from this extreme, divisive President to be a non-starter, that’s certainly not an indication that they aren’t doing their jobs.

They are doing their jobs as they see them. They don’t want the ideological bias of the court to tip to the left.

If voters disagree with that position then I guess the Republicans will pay for it on election day (I don’t think it’s going to be nearly the sort of electoral issue Democrats think). But if voters do punish Republicans for this, it won’t be because they didn’t do their jobs. It will be because of the way they did their jobs.

I’m not sure even Heitkamp believes what she’s saying here. Rather, I think this is a rhetorical ploy which allows her to side with her fellow liberals on the Supreme Court battle without explicitly coming out in favor of an Obama nomination which could potentially be devastating for North Dakota.