Wait for Mueller before making SCOTUS pick?

An interesting idea is being floated by those with some stake in the president’s next selection for the U.S. Supreme Court.

It goes like this: Donald Trump should wait for special counsel Robert Mueller to finish his probe into the “Russia thing” before making his choice known. Think for a moment about this. What if Mueller determines there is some criminality involved in the Trump presidential campaign’s dealing with Russian goons who meddled in our 2016 election? What happens if that case ends up eventually before the nation’s highest court?

Does the president deserve to select someone who might have a material interest in determining the legal fate of a case involving the president, his campaign and, indeed, the presidency itself?

There’s plenty of chatter already that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should allow the midterm election to determine the Senate composition before sending this nomination up for a Senate vote; the Senate must confirm this appointment. McConnell did manage to block President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in early 2016 shortly after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Obama had nearly a year left in his presidency, but McConnell said the Senate needed to wait until the presidential election before considering anyone for the court.

Mueller well might be getting near the end of his exhaustive probe. Should we wait for the special counsel to finish his task and deliver his report to America? Sure. Why not?

One thought on “Wait for Mueller before making SCOTUS pick?”

  1. Hi John:

    I see two issues that must be examined.

    1. There is a presumption in the US of innocence until proven guilty. Any findings from the Mueller probe wouldn’t establish guilt. Should any person in elected office under some type of probe (whether actual or spurious) be “sidelined” from their political role until an investigation is completed? I recognize the importance of this situation, but I’m a believer in “what is good for the goose is good for the gander.” If it applies to one, it should apply to all.

    2. As I read it, the argument posited is logically invalid. The point of waiting until after the elections doesn’t change the underlying issue that the President would still be making a selection, only after the election correct? The thought process makes no sense to me. I see two ways to move forward, either the SC nominee should be held up until Mueller probe (which may or may not have its own political agenda) releases its findings, or the President can select when he feels he has found a worthy nominee. Your point, from my reading, is a middle ground . . . wait until the elections take place. This is purely a political position and, again as I read it, logically invalid.

    As of the most recent pronouncements, the President is not a target of the Mueller investigation (per Rosenstein [Apr 19] and to whom Mueller reports). I think we should acknowledge two points: (1) it is likely that since no announcement updating the President’s status in the investigation has been forthcoming, that he remains a non-target; and (2) the President’s status in the investigation could change at any time.

    Let the chips fall where they fall, but whatever is decided should provide the framework for similar instances going forward.

    Best Regards
    FX

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