Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid ripped into Republicans in a fiery speech on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, slamming his counterparts on the right for blocking the confirmation of Judge Merrick Garland in an effort to give Donald Trump the opportunity to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.
The Nevada senator scolded Republicans for obstructing President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination so that Trump, who has repeatedly attacked US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel over his Mexican heritage in recent days, would have the ability to fill the seat left empty by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
“This is the man, Donald Trump, for whom Senate Republicans are blocking a supremely qualified nominee, Merrick Garland. This is the man, Donald Trump, for whom Senate Republicans are abdicating their constitutional responsibility. This is the man, Donald Trump, whom Senate Republicans want to determine the makeup of the Supreme Court for a generation,” Reid said.
Senate Republicans are united in blocking Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Republicans are united in refusing to provide their advice and consent on President Obama’s nominee. Republicans are united in doing it for Donald Trump. And they should all be ashamed. It’s hard to imagine anything more humiliating than holding a Supreme Court seat open so Donald Trump can fill it.
Reid asked why Senate Republicans would “march in lockstep behind a man who spews hate speech and attacks the basic rule of law in America.”
“And for what?” Reid asked. “So that Donald Trump – a man who routinely insults them to their faces, who denigrates Sen. [John] McCain’s heroism, who says people’s heritage makes them unable to perform their jobs – so that this despicable man, Donald Trump, can appoint justices to the highest court in the land?”
Immediately following the sudden death of Scalia, Republican leaders said it would be inappropriate to nominate a justice to fill the empty seat during an election year. Democrats vehemently disagreed, and Obama nominated Garland for the position earlier this year.
Reid’s comments on Trump came one day after GOP leaders slammed their presumptive nominee for attacks on Curiel. Trump has argued that the judge can’t be impartial in overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University because he favors building a wall on the Southern border and Curiel – born in Indiana – is of Mexican dissent.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Tuesday that Trump’s comments fit the “textbook definition” of racism. Others from the Republican Party have echoed that sentiment.
Conservative host Hugh Hewitt said Wednesday that the GOP should change its convention rules and stop Trump in Cleveland.
One day prior, the former New Jersey chairman for Ted Cruz’s 2016 White House bid said delegates have a “moral obligation” to launch an “insurrection” and “unbind themselves” to halt the billionaire’s rise.
Moreover, a Wednesday Wall Street Journal editorial suggested that if Trump “doesn’t start to act like a political leader” he could “hear rumblings that delegates are looking for someone else to nominate.”