- - Thursday, May 5, 2016

Note to the Left: When it comes to the battle over the Supreme Court vacancy, don’t be listening to The Rolling Stones, because time is most definitely not on your side.

Now that oral arguments before the Supreme Court have wrapped up for this term, liberals find themselves in an extremely awkward position - an essential part of their strategy up to this point has been their instance that the Supreme Court must have nine justices. Much to the Left’s dismay, the Supreme Court is functioning perfectly well - as it has at various points in our nation’s history - with fewer than nine justices.

Back on February 19th, White House spokesman Josh Earnest even tried to make the case that the Supreme Court must have nine justices because that’s what the Founding Fathers intended. Mr. Earnest said during a press conference, “… in the President’s view, the Supreme Court should function as our Founding Fathers intended, and that means with nine justices.” Er, well, no, actually. Not only did the Founding Fathers not, in fact, stipulate that there must be nine justices, but the first Supreme Court bench had six justices, all nominated by President George Washington in 1789.

While the Left has argued that the Senate must act immediately to confirm Merrick Garland, President Obama’s liberal pick for the Supreme Court, conservatives have consistently countered that there is no need to rush the confirmation process during an election year. After all, Supreme Court justices serve lifetime appointments, and Americans are opposed to shifting the balance in a more liberal direction. According to a CNN/ORC poll, fully 66 percent of Americans want the balance of the Supreme Court to remain as it is or move in a more conservative direction.

Americans who are concerned about the make-up of the Supreme Court and want to protect it from a dramatic leftward lurch are taking action across the country. At Tea Party Patriots, we have seen an outpouring of grassroots activity to help strengthen Senate Republicans’ spines in their decision to wait until after the election for a confirmation hearing.

To help harness that grassroots energy, we have organized multiple activist days, providing an opportunity for people around the country to show up at Senators’ offices in Washington, D.C. and in their own states. We’ve already hosted events in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Iowa to thank Sens. Pat Toomey, Kelly Ayotte, and Chuck Grassley for remaining strong - and we will be adding more states and Senators in the coming weeks.

Our activists have shown up at town hall meetings from Des Moines to Nashua, and we are in the process of launching a powerful letter-to-the-editor writing campaign. In April, we hand-delivered letters to every Senator, with close to 30,000 signatures of Americans who believe the Senate should wait until next year to confirm a new justice.

Republican Senators are holding firm for good reason: they’ve heard from us - loud and clear - and they know how seriously we take protecting the Supreme Court from another liberal Obama nominee.

In response to our successes and the GOP Senators’ resolve to stand firm, the Left is now attempting to manufacture a sense of urgency about the vacancy. Enter the Left’s latest brain child: the 9-9-9 strategy, which represents the nine states and nine Senators targeted in their negative campaigns, and the nine justices they erroneously argue must occupy the Supreme Court at all times. The Left has always excelled at coming up with clever catch-phrases and campaign slogans. But Americans see through the 9-9-9 strategy, and recognize it for what it really is: a 9-1-1 act of desperation in this debate the Left is losing.

The 9-9-9 strategy is part of the Left’s overall effort to force the Senate to hold hearings. “Do Your Job!” is the slogan the Left is using, and it loosely translates as “Hey, Senate! Do whatever President Obama tells you to do!” The constitutional separation of powers and the built-in system of checks and balances continue to elude the Left, as this struggle over the Supreme Court reminds us.

Tea Party Patriots activists, however, properly understand that the Senate is doing its job by not holding a confirmation hearing. Not serving as a rubber stamp to the president’s agenda or his judicial nominees is an important part of the legislative branch’s constitutional duties.

The Left is determined to make the battle for the Supreme Court a campaign issue in Senate races in 2016. But, in the same way that liberals have underestimated Senate Republicans’ resolve in this fight, they also underestimate how important the Supreme Court is to voters. The Left may be in for a rude awakening come November when voters will likely reward - not punish - Senate Republicans for taking this principled position and listening to their constituents.

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