Sen­a­tors’ talk short of walk

The Times-Tribune - - EDITORIAL -

Sev­eral Repub­li­can sen­a­tors re­spon­si­bly pushed back Thurs­day against Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s re­fusal to com­mit to ced­ing power should he lose the Nov. 3 elec­tion.

But talk is cheap and many of those sen­a­tors have failed in the past to de­ter Trump from his worst in­stincts. They need to act.

Sens. Mitt Rom­ney of Utah and Marco Ru­bio of Florida, for ex­am­ple, con­demned Trump’s com­ments. But both are com­mit­ted to his rapid ap­point­ment of a Supreme Court jus­tice prior to the elec­tion.

Trump also has said he wants the ninth jus­tice con­firmed to help de­cide the elec­tion, in­di­cat­ing that he plans to cre­ate a cri­sis for the court to re­solve in his fa­vor. That alone should re­quire the new jus­tice to re­cuse her­self from any mat­ter in­volv­ing the elec­tion, since the nom­i­na­tion clearly is pred­i­cated on the ex­pec­ta­tion that the ap­pointee will vote for Trump’s in­ter­ests.

Repub­li­can Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch Mccon­nell said Thurs­day that there will be a smooth tran­si­tion if Trump loses, but given his record on court ap­point­ments, there is no rea­son to be­lieve any­thing he says.

The best so­lu­tion is for the Se­nate to hold off on con­sid­er­ing any Supreme Court ap­point­ment un­til af­ter the elec­tion, to best en­sure that the elec­tion is de­cided by vot­ers rather than by Mccon­nell’s ma­nip­u­la­tion of the Supreme Court ap­point­ment process.

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