Joe Biden argued in 1992 that the president should not nominate any Supreme Court candidates until after that year’s presidential election.
“It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is underway — and it is — action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over,” Biden, then a Delaware senator, said in June of 1992. “That is what is fair to the nominee and essential to the process.”
The video, unearthed by C-SPAN on Monday, comes as Vice President Biden has argued that President Obama should nominate a replacement to the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died just more than a week ago. Republicans are arguing that the next president, elected in November, should nominate the next justice.
Speaking on the Senate floor in 1992, Biden said: “It is my view that if a Supreme Court justice resigns tomorrow, or within the next several weeks, or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not — and not — name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”
“The Senate too, Mr. President, must consider how it would respond to a Supreme Court vacancy that would occur in the full throes of an election year,” Biden continued.
He also called on the Senate not to schedule any confirmation hearings until after the election that year between incumbent President George H. W. Bush, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and independent candidate Ross Perot.
“It is my view that if the president goes the way of Presidents Fillmore and Johnson, and presses an election year nomination, the Senate judiciary committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 22, 2016