Fact checkers have caught Speaker Of The House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) in a big lie as they have debunked Ryan’s claim that there is a precedent for Republicans blocking President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.
During an interview on CNBC, Speaker Ryan said that there was a precedent for the Republican obstruction of Obama’s nominee, “There’s a reason for having this tradition of not nominating somebody in the middle of a presidential election, because it gets so political. I agree with that precedent, and there is a precedent for that.”
However, when the fact checkers at PolitiFact Wisconsin examined Ryan’s claim, they found that there was precedent, but the precedent was for appointing and confirming a nominee:
It’s rare for a Supreme Court vacancy to occur during a presidential election year — the last time was in 1940, although there were also two election-year nominations in 1968.
But we could find no instances in which a president faced with a Supreme Court vacancy during a presidential election year did not make a nomination. It occurred five times between 1912 and 1940, and each time the nominee was confirmed.
The fact-checkers determined that Speaker Ryan’s statement was false. In other words, Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican Party are lying. Republicans aren’t following existing precedent. They are inventing new precedent as an excuse to obstruct President Obama. The best news of all is that the American people aren’t buying the big Republican lie.
There is a reason polling shows that eight incumbent Republican senators could lose their seats if they follow through on Mitch McConnell’s plan to obstruct President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. If Senate Republicans stick to their plan of not even giving the President’s Supreme Court nominee a hearing, the results could be a political disaster for the GOP in November.
Paul Ryan has a history of ignoring the truth, and public opinion, while he pursues his ideological goals. What is different is that Republicans in Congress are facing an immediate public backlash for their refusal to do one of the most basic and constitutionally mandated functions of their jobs.
The more Republicans repeat the SCOTUS obstruction lie, the more determined voters become to vote them out of office.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association