Almost immediately they issued their statements. Tea Party Patriots boss Jenny Beth Martin “It is critical that the next Supreme Court Justice has the same judicial philosophy and dedication to the Constitution as Justice Scalia. The Senate must block any nomination from President Obama…” And, since she was writing from this Tea Party’s Super PAC, she added, “the American people must realize how much more important the 2016 election has become.”
Other Tea Party national organizations spit out the same line. FreedomWorks’ Adam Brandon added, “another liberal on the Court would complete Obama’s ‘fundamental transformation’ of America.” FreedomWorks wanted its constituents to contact Sen. McConnell and urge him to block any Obama nomination. The Asheville Tea Party, with links to FreedomWorks, told its followers to aim their phone calls at North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, both of whom they regarded as either “spineless” or soaked in dollars.
Steven Eichler, who describes himself as a lifelong anti-immigrant Minuteman, heads up Tea Party.org and writes from what is called the “Tea Party Command Center.” He speculated “Was Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia Murdered, and if so why?” The rumor that Scalia had been murdered is spreading all over the farthest reaches of the far right, and it was quite natural for Eichler, who inhabits those regions, to ask that question.
Since the Tea Party movement’s inception in 2009, it has claimed to support the Constitution and Constitutional government. They have read books that claim to be about the Constitution. They have attended Constitution study groups. Their complaints about a possible Obama-appointed replacement to the Supreme Court are often couched in defense of the Constitution, as above.
But the Constitution is absolutely clear on this point. Article II commands the president to make such appointments with the advice and consent of the Senate. News reports have counted 13 times such appointments in the past were made in a presidential election year like this one. Tea Partiers and others who claim to support Constitutional government and also say they want to block this appointment are talking out of two sides of their mouths at once. Tea Partiers and others of this ilk should be notified that we recognize their duplicity for what it is.