Back in 2007, Chuck Schumer stated plainly that Democrats should block all U.S. Supreme Court judges nominated by then president George W. Bush. There is no other way to interpret his words:

Having been confronted with this irrefutable evidence that Democrats played partisan politics on this very issue, Schumer has responded by claiming that was totally different.

Sam Reisman of Mediaite:

Schumer Hits Back at GOP Making Spurious ‘Apples to Oranges’ Comparisons With His 2007 Speech

Only an hour after Justice Antonin Scalia‘s death was confirmed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued an outright, pre-emptive rejection of any nominees to the Supreme Court that President Barack Obama might name in his final year in office. Schumer rebuked Senate Republicans in an appearance on This Week Sunday, calling it “obstructionism” and an abnegation of duty.

It was at this point that others unearthed a speech Schumer gave before the American Constitution Society in 2007, in which he seemed to contradict his own position, at least when a Republican executive was in office.

In his remarks, the Democratic senator from New York argued that, given the “limited usefulness” of the confirmation process, and the “obfuscation” of George W. Bush‘s nominees’ records he observed in the hearings, he and his colleagues “should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances.”

“Even a quick perusal of the speech shows it provides no cover and that Leader McConnell is comparing apples to oranges,” Schumer wrote in his statement released Tuesday. He continued:

What I said in the speech given in 2007 is simple: Democrats, after a hearing, should entertain voting no if the nominee is out of the mainstream and tries to cover that fact up. There was no hint anywhere in the speech that there shouldn’t be hearings or a vote. Only that if after hearings and a vote, Democrats determined that the nominee was out of the mainstream and trying to hide it, they should have no qualms about voting no. Nor was there any hint that this idea that Democrats should oppose hard right ideologues should apply only in the fourth year of the president’s term. In fact, I said it should apply to this president, George W. Bush, or any future president whenever they nominated such a candidate.

See? You can’t compare these nearly identical situations because it’s different this time.

Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review has more:

Schumer: Ignore My 2007 Speech on Judges

As many conservatives have noted in recent days, Senator Chuck Schumer said in 2007 that Senate Democrats should do what they could to keep President George W. Bush from confirming any more conservative justices to the Supreme Court. Now he’s explaining that today’s situation is completely unlike that one (h/t Susan Ferrechio).

The first step: mischaracterizing what he said. Here’s his retrospective spin: “What I said in the speech given in 2007 is simple: Democrats, after a hearing, should entertain voting no if the nominee is out of the mainstream and tries to cover that fact up.” Here’s what he actually said:

We should reverse the presumption of confirmation. The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts; or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.

Given the track record of this President and the experience of obfuscation at the hearings, with respect to the Supreme Court, at least: I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm a Supreme Court nominee EXCEPT in extraordinary circumstances (emphasis in original).

He wasn’t saying that senators should “entertain voting no.” He was saying that they should almost certainly vote no.

And finally… there’s this:

Totally different, you guys.

Featured image via YouTube.


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