Senator Rob Portman’s Supreme Court Fallout

Sen. Rob Portman is facing a serious backlash from voters and the press for his his continued refusal to uphold his constitutional duty and consider a new Supreme Court justice. It’s one of the clearest examples yet of how Portman is prioritizing the interests of the Washington powerbrokers and the wealthy special interests he serves at the expense of Ohio’s working people.

Here’s a roundup of the recent fallout from Portman’s dysfunctional stance on the Supreme Court:

  • A new poll shows that the vast majority of Ohio voters disagree with Portman’s refusal to consider a new Supreme Court justice; that 70 percent of Ohio independent voters disagree with Portman’s position on this issue; and that Portman is “suffering from very weak approval numbers.” Following the release of the poll results:

    • Daily Kos wrote, Portman has “decided that hanging with the extremists is the way to go on the Supreme Court.”

    • Talking Points Memo wrote, “Many voters [in Ohio] said that the Supreme Court may be a factor for them when they head to the polls in November.”

    • Mother Jones wrote, “…Republicans could end up sacrificing seats in the Senate if they refuse to allow a vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee until after the elections in November.”

  • On WBNS-TV’s “Face the State”, the chair of the Ohio Republican Party contradicted Portman’s position the Supreme Court, stating that the Senate should consider a nominee.

  • In response to Portman’s claim that it is “common practice” for the Senate not to consider Supreme Court nominees in the last year of a president’s term, MSNBC’s Maddow Blog wrote: “So let’s answer the question with the demonstrable truth: Republicans are lying. There is no ‘common practice’ that justifies their blockade strategy, and there is no ‘tradition’ to honor. The gambit GOP senators have launched is simply without precedent in the American experience.”

  • A Toledo Blade editorial stated, “Creating a crisis in one of the three branches of the federal government is too high a price to pay for partisan advantage…. Regrettably, Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who is seeking re-election this year in a state that Mr. Obama won twice, has adopted his party’s indefensible line.”

  • A Youngstown Vindicator editorial stated that Portman is “demanding that Obama ignore the Constitution with regard to one of the most important duties of a president: the nomination of federal judges, including those for the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • An Akron Beacon Journal editorial stated that Portman “fell, predictably, into the party line… Yet the majority does have an obvious responsibility to see that the courts function, and to show respect for the will of voters.”

  • A Columbus Dispatch editorial stated, “This is an affront to the president’s constitutional authority to nominate a justice. And it is an abdication of the Senate’s duty to “advise and consent” in confirming a nominee; it should consider an individual’s merits.”

  • The New York Times wrote, “It is a stance that has put Mr. Portman… squarely in the kind of ideological showdown he usually tries to avoid. Many Democrats, Ohio newspaper editorialists and independents are outraged.”

  • The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote, “The issue is a hot potato for the senator, who could face a close election for his seat against likely Democratic challenger Ted Strickland.… Strickland, who had called on Portman to break with McConnell and support a nomination consideration, condemned the senator’s decision.”