Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said he wishes the Republicans would stick to the “Biden rule” surrounding President Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Reid’s statement is confusing, as he called on Senate Republicans yesterday to confirm Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, as a Supreme Court justice.
Senate Republicans are currently locked in a political battle with Democrats over whether they will confirm Garland. Republicans have said they will not confirm any nominees until after the election, and Democrats have cried foul, saying he should be given a fair confirmation process.
Their complaints are hypocritical however, as Democrats have vowed multiple times in the past to block nominees when it was not politically advantageous to them. Most notably was in 1992 when Vice President Joe Biden, who was serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, said that if a vacancy opened up on the Supreme Court, Democrats should block then-president George H.W. Bush’s nomination until after the election.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over,” Biden said in 1992.
So Reid saying he wishes Republicans would follow the “Biden rule” contradicts his demands that they hold hearings on Garland. From the video, however, it’s not clear whether Reid knows what the Biden rule is.