America Rising Squared, a conservative research and communications shop, fact-checked an opinion column written by President Obama in Monday’s Wall Street Journal.
The president turned to the Journal’s pages to admonish Senate Republicans for not holding a vote for Judge Merrick Garland, his nominee to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Obama argued that Senate inaction on the nomination was undermining public confidence in institutions, and that Congress has an obligation to vote on any nomination the president submits for their review.
The president’s claims didn’t fare well against scrutiny.
“Naturally, President Obama omitted some key facts in his piece, so AR2 decided to go through and annotate of some the important points that the President missed,” AR2 communications director Jeremy Adler wrote.
From the fact check:
Obama: “Historically, when a president nominates a Supreme Court justice—regardless of when in the presidential term this occurs—the Senate is obligated to act.”
AR2: “Vice-President Biden made a very compelling case opposing this idea, noting that a President should not fill a vacancy prior to a presidential election.”
Obama: “Senators are free to vote their conscience. But they vote. That’s their job.”
AR2: “Actually, The Constitution gives the Senate the power to ‘advise and consent’ on the President’s Supreme Court nominees. Hillary Clinton herself said that the Senate can deny consent to the President’s nominees.”
Obama: “Democrats and Republicans in the Senate could agree to give Chief Judge Garland a hearing when they return from their extended recess, while also committing to give every future qualified Supreme Court nominee a hearing and a vote within an established time frame. It’s a good idea that my predecessor, President George W. Bush, suggested during his time in office.”
AR2: “It’s also an idea that you flatly rejected when it suited you 10 years ago by voting to filibuster Justice Alito.”
Garland was nominated 124 days ago, though no hearing or vote has yet been scheduled. Senate Republicans are nearly unanimous in their opposition to Garland, effectively ending any chance of his confirmation until a possible lame duck vote after the election. (RELATED: Senate GOP Won’t Consider Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee)
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