Dave Hoppe has worked in Washington D.C. for years. The former chief of staff for Senate Majority Trent Lott, Hoppe joined FRC President Tony Perkins to discuss the state of the Supreme Court now that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. Hoppe said the situation is relatively simple and straightforward.
“It’s just done in a couple of words,” Hoppe said.
He pointed to Article 2 where the President is given the power to nominate justices for the court. And, in Article 1, the Senate is given the power to advise and consent on those nominees.
“It’s just as simple as that in just those words,” Hoppe said. “This isn’t some shocking, strange thing that happens. In the history of our country, this is the 58th fourth year of a presidency. Twenty-nine times – half of the times – there’s been a nomination for the Supreme Court. And every time it has happened, the sitting President has nominated somebody.”
When the Senate and the President represented the same Party, the nominee was confirmed 17 out of 19 times. If the President and Senate were represented by different parties, only twice out of 10 times was it acted upon.
“This is not something that’s wildly strange,” Hoppe said. “It happens half the time. In fact, President Obama and President Trump have both had a nomination to make. Both have made the nomination. As has happened 17 out of 19 times when the Party was in power of the Senate the same as the Party of the President – so this is not strange. This is the norm.”
Democrats lost control of the Senate largely because of Harry Reid’s decision to change the filibuster rule in November of 2013. Hoppe said Democrats wanted to “stuff” the bench in the D.C. circuit because Obama was doing things they knew were “a little unconstitutional” and most constitutional cases head to the D.C. circuit.
“They wanted to make sure they had people who would defy the Constitution and rule in favor of President Obama,” Hoppe said. “That’s what started this whole thing.”
Hoppe predicted Democrats will get creative when it comes to trying to stall the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has even floated the idea of another impeachment.
“I don’t think they’ll be able to hold it up ultimately,” Hoppe said. “But they’ll try everything in their power.”
Democrats have already said if they get control of the Senate they will get rid of the legislative filibuster, add two new states and pack the Supreme Court with more justices.
At the heart of the likely attacks are two issues – abortion and religious freedom.
“Those two things are two of the most important issues that this nomination will be all about,” Hoppe said.
He said there’s an effort being made by “extreme liberals” to limit the right to practice religion. They aim to force religious people to keep their religion within the four walls of their religious buildings.
“I’m afraid what we saw with Justice Kavanaugh, we will see even worse with whoever is nominated,” Hoppe said.