If a Supreme Court vacancy opens up this year, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn says the Senate has a “responsibility” to consider a nomination from President Donald Trump. But in 2016, Cornyn joined the GOP in refusing to consider any Obama nominees because “the presidential election is well underway.”
With 87-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized for gallbladder treatment earlier this week and the high court’s term ending next month, the prospect of a possible opening has yet again been raised on Capitol Hill.
Senate Republicans say they’ll fill it, despite denying even a hearing for Merrick Garland, who former President Barack Obama nominated in March of 2016, Politico reported on Friday.
Among them is Cornyn, who told Politico, “If you thought the Kavanaugh hearing was contentious this would probably be that on steroids.”
“Nevertheless,” Cornyn said, “if the president makes a nomination then it’s our responsibility to take it up.”
But in February 2016, Cornyn signed a letter with other GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee refusing to hold any hearings on Obama nominees to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia.
“The presidential election is well underway,” the letter said. “The American people are presented with an exceedingly rare opportunity to decide, in a very real and concrete way, the direction the Court will take over the next generation. We believe The People should have this opportunity.”
“The president may nominate judges of the Supreme Court,” the letter said. “But the power to grant, or withhold, consent to such nominees rests exclusively with the United States Senate.”
We need to get rid of this piece of shit but the only way for Democrats to do that is to win over a lot of undecided voters:
Cornyn enters the fall fray with big advantages, such as greater name recognition and more money. He has nearly $13 million in the bank, compared with $1.1 million for Hegar and just more than $120,000 for West.
However, UT-Tyler political scientist Mark Owens, who helped direct the poll, said it highlights trouble spots for Cornyn. Not only are a high percentage of Texans undecided – 34% – on Cornyn versus either Democrat, President Donald Trump runs six percentage points better against Democrat Joe Biden than Cornyn does against either of his less well-known challengers.
Moreover, 10% of all voters surveyed support Trump but not Cornyn, Owens said. Flipping it, 7% of respondents support Cornyn but not Trump.
“This is not an enviable position” for Cornyn, Owens said.
Here’s something interesting from that same poll:
However, Hegar would beat Cornyn, 32% to 22%, in Bexar County, where he grew up and launched his political career as a judge decades ago. For about 20 years, Cornyn has lived in Austin.
The poll also found West ahead of Cornyn in Bexar County, 25% to 22% — though that’s within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 2.85 percentage points.
Between the two Democrats, Hegar leads West among several demographics: white voters, independent voters who lean Democratic and seniors. Hegar has also raised more money than West, and has been endorsed by “rising star” Democratic congresswoman from Texas, Veronica Escobar; also, by former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.
But West leads among black and young voters. Prominent Democrats have also endorsed him, including former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and progressive former Senate candidate from Texas, Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez. The race also seems to be much closer in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, where West is from.
“West seems to have a few pockets of strength,” Garrett said.
West and Hegar are picking up big endorsements. West recently snagged this endorsement:
The progressive group Democracy for America (DFA) is endorsing Texas state Sen. Royce West (D) in the Senate Democratic primary runoff against Mary Jennings Hegar (D), who is backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Hegar and West were the top two finishers in the crowded early March primary, sending them off to a runoff contest that will take place on July 14 and determine who moves forward to face Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in November.
Hegar finished the March primary with 22 percent support, compared to 14.5 percent for West.
Hegar will have a fundraising advantage and institutional support from national Democrats, but West could get a boost from progressives rallying around him.
“Only one candidate in July’s Senate run-off in Texas is a tested fighter for progressive priorities like criminal justice reform, common-sense gun legislation, and a fair wage, and that’s why Democracy for America is excited to endorse Royce West for U.S. Senate,” said DFA CEO Yvette Simpson.
And he picked up this endorsement:
Yesterday, the Texas AFL-CIO co-endorsed MJ Hegar, a decorated combat veteran and working mom, in her bid for U.S. Senate. The Texas AFL-CIO brings together teachers, manufacturers, service workers, lawyers, and traders to secure safe jobs, decent paychecks and benefits, equal opportunities, and dignity for Texas workers.
“M.J. Hegar has brought a new energy to Texas politics, a sterling record of service to the nation, and a working class perspective to her campaign that resonates with our members,” said Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy.
“Having come from a working class family, I know firsthand that our workers are the backbone of Texas communities. I look forward to working closely with my friends in the labor movement to defeat Senator Cornyn and fight for fair working conditions, affordable health care, and clean government,” said MJ Hegar.
And she picked up this endorsement:
The runoff is July 14th. Let’s get ready to take out Cornyn. Click below to donate and get involved with the Texas Democrat of your choice: