In a string of tweets on Saturday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham defended his decision to support Donald Trump’s efforts to nominate a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Although Graham previously said he would not support a nomination in an election year, he pointed to Democrats’ treatment of Brett Kavanaugh for his about-face on the issue, Raw Story reported.
“The two biggest changes regarding the Senate and judicial confirmations that have occurred in the last decade have come from Democrats,” he tweeted.
Graham first highlighted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to allow a simple majority to vote for Circuit Court nominees before noting the Kavanaugh hearings.
“Chuck Schumer and his friends in the liberal media conspired to destroy the life of Brett Kavanaugh and hold that Supreme Court seat open.”
The South Carolina senator pointed to these two events as the reason for his unwavering support for Trump’s efforts to nominate a new Justice.
As reported by The Independent, Graham and other Republicans refused to accept Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia in 2016. In particular, their argument centered around the suggestion that nominees should not be voted on in election year and should be the decision of the next president. Republicans often refer to this argument as the “Biden rule” due to Joe Biden’s 1992 push for the Upper Chamber to wait until after the election to move forward with any appointments.
Kavanaugh’s nomination process was notoriously marred by accusations of sexual misconduct. Notably, Christine Blasey Ford claimed that she was sexually assaulted by him when they were teens. Many saw her as a credible, sympathetic witness, while others suggested that Democrats were using her as a political tool to undermine Kavanaugh’s appointment.
During the hearings, Graham notably had an outburst in which he aimed his anger at Democratic lawmakers and, according to CNN, “may have single-handedly saved” Kavanaugh’s candidature.
“What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020,” Graham argued.
“To my Republican colleagues, if you vote ‘no’, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing that I have seen in my time in politics.”
As The Inquisitr reported, attempts to nominate a new Justice could backfire in the chance that there is opposition from some Republican lawmakers. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was notably opposed to Kavanaugh’s nomination in 2018, which saw him win the appointment by just one vote.