With President Donald Trump poised to nominate his second Supreme Court justice less than two years into his term after the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, many wondered if some Republicans would caucus with Democrats to prevent a nominee from getting a vote before the 2018 midterms.
All eyes fell to Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) for two big reasons. One, he is no longer seeking reelection and thus doesn’t need to align with the Republican party to ensure support and funding.
And two, because, on Tuesday, he said he’d do just that: Flake said he would block any Trump judicial appointment until he got a vote on tariffs.
“We need to vote on tariffs,” Flake told the Daily Beast. “I’m committed to getting a vote on tariffs. That’s all I’ll say.”
Flake was following up on a sentiment he expressed over the weekend.
“I do think that unless we can actually exercise something other than just approving the president’s executive calendar, his nominees, judges, that we have no reason to be there,” Flake said. “So I think myself and a number of senators, at least a few of us, will stand up and say let’s not move any more judges until we get a vote, for example, on tariffs.”
So. Flake. Justice Kennedy is retiring at the end of July. A Supreme Court justice is a type of judge, the type of judge whom you mentioned this week you would not vote on until you accomplished something.
In fact, it’s literally the most important judge you could hold up, the ultimate bargaining chip to get the votes you want on what you believe are the most pressing issues facing American society.
Democrats just need two Republicans to speak up and say so. You are one of them. Boom. Here we go. An unbelievable opportunity. Literally ripe for you to follow up on a promise you just made. Spine of steel, here we go. Actual, real defiance against a president you’ve repeatedly spoken out against. A—