Virginia Democratic Sen. [crscore]Tim Kaine[/crscore] — perhaps trying to stir up interest in himself as a possible choice vice president — is injecting race into the fight over the Supreme Court vacancy, suggesting Republicans are not confirming nominee Merrick Garland because President Obama is black.
Speaking from the Senate floor on Tuesday, Kaine referenced how it was the 62nd anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. He then lambasted Republicans for blocking the Garland nomination.
“What can explain why this president – the nation’s first African American president – is singled out for this treatment?” Kaine said.
“I cannot say why the Senate would be so willing to break its historic practice and the commands of the Constitution to refuse consideration of a nomination made by this particular President,” Kaine said.
The Virginia senator argued Obama has been disrespected, unlike other presidents.
“They watched with sadness as some in Congress raised questions about whether he was even born in the United States,” Kaine said. “They saw some in Congress question his faith and his patriotism. They observed a member of Congress shout ‘you lie’ at this president during a televised speech to the entire Congress.”
Speaking of how Republicans say they plan to wait until a new president is elected to consider a replacement to the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, Kaine said: “When the asserted reason is the need to ‘let the people decide’ – thus suggesting that the people’s decision to elect this particular president twice is entitled to no respect — they are deeply troubled.”