Megyn Kelly: Dems Lost SCOTUS Fight in 2016, ‘They’re Bitter’

On her 9:00 a.m. ET hour show on Tuesday, NBC anchor Megyn Kelly took Democrats to task for opposing President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, declaring that they “lost this fight on November 8th, 2016" and were just being “bitter.” She added that “Trump deserves his choice.”

“To me, I find this so irritating,” Kelly said of the expected confirmation fight. “Scalia was confirmed by a vote of 98 to nothing....Elena Kagan, Sotomayer, confirmed with high 60s votes, right? In the high 60s in the Senate – 67 for, 63 for the other,” she explained. The host further proclaimed:

 

 

The Democrats lost this fight on November 8th, 2016. The only question now is whether Brett Kavanaugh is qualified to take this office....Trump deserves his choice, just like Obama deserved his choices. Sotomayer belongs on that bench, so does Kagan, so does Kavanaugh.

Appearing as a panelist, fellow NBC anchor Craig Melvin remarked: “What about the last choice that Obama had?” NBC News Legal Analyst Daniel Goldman chimed in: “Yeah, that’s ultimately what this is about.” Melvin continued: “But you can appreciate why a lot of folks on the left – ”

Kelly interrupted: “They’re bitter, I get it....They should have taken out their bitterness on November 8th, 2016.”

Another member of the panel, Amy Holmes, host of PBS’s In Principle, predicted: “I think what we’re going to see as we’re moving forward – we’re seeing it right here at the table – is that there’s going to be a huge fight over the direction of the court, what that means.” Kelly reiterated: “That fight has already been lost by the Democrats.”

The anchor then proceeded to offer a defense of the originalist view of the Constitution:  

Antonin Scalia used to say from the bench – and I sat on the court three years for Fox News listening to the arguments every day, in addition to my 10 years as a lawyer – and what originalists, like Scalia, like Kavanaugh believe is not that they should be making law from the bench. Their position is not, “We hate abortion” or “We hate” whatever the rights are. Their position is, “Why would you want nine gals and guys in robes making these decision for you? We’re just going to tell you what the Constitution requires and what it doesn’t require. And if you want the law to say something else, go take it up with the people who actually do have to answer to you, the ones you elect.”

Goldman immediately jumped in to bash the conservative judicial philosophy:

It’s a legal slight of hand to say that originalists are not activists. Over the last decade or more, the, quote, “originalists” have been incredibly activist, they’ve struck down many laws. And that’s what the conservative right has been pushing for, for three decades. And this is finally what they believe is their success story to get the court with five very, very conservative members.

Wrapping up the discussion, Kelly again scolded Democrats:

But I’m telling you, if you sat at home on your bottom on November 8th, 2016 because you just didn’t whatever, then you have waived your right to complain. [Applause] Trump put out his list of people he wanted to nominate and most of them were far to the right of Brett Kavanaugh. And the American public put him in office. This is what elections are for. Presidents get the right to appoint Supreme Court justices, the Senate has the final say.

It’s refreshing to see someone at NBC hold the left accountable and point out the political reality.

Here is a transcript of the July 10 segment:

9:09 AM ET

(...)

MEGYN KELLY: To me, I find this so irritating. I have covered, wall-to-wall, the confirmation hearings in D.C. of Chief Justice John Roberts, of Samuel Alito, of Elana Kagan, of Sotomayer. I looked at this going back in history. Scalia was confirmed by a vote of 98 to nothing, two people were missing that day. Scalia, who was obviously hard right. Elena Kagan, Sotomayer, confirmed with high 60s votes, right? In the high 60s in the Senate – 67 for, 63 for the other.

The Democrats lost this fight on November 8th, 2016. The only question now is whether Brett Kavanaugh is qualified to take this office or is so radical that no reasonable person would put him on the Supreme Court. Trump deserves his choice, just like Obama deserved his choices. Sotomayer belongs on that bench, so does Kagan, so does Kavanaugh.

CRAIG MELVIN: What about the last choice that Obama had?

DANIEL GOLDMAN [NBC LEGAL ANALYST]: Yeah, that’s ultimately what this is about.

KELLY: That’s political maneuvering, of course.

MELVIN: Right. But you can appreciate why a lot of folks on the left –

KELLY: That’s partisan nonsense.

MELVIN: You can appreciate why they are still carrying around that Garland –  

KELLY: They’re bitter, I get it.

AMY HOLMES [HOST, PBS’S IN PRINCIPLE]: They can be bitter, but this is –

KELLY: They should have taken out their bitterness on November 8th, 2016.

HOLMES: Right. And they may want payback. But the question being, is Kavanaugh – is he qualified to be a Supreme Court justice. Let’s also remember that when he was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court he got 57 votes in the United States Senate, Democrats voted for him then.

GOLDMAN: That’s not a lot by the way.

HOLMES: Well, Democrats voted for him then. I think what we’re going to see as we’re moving forward – we’re seeing it right here at the table – is that there’s going to be a huge fight over the direction of the court, what that means.

KELLY: That fight has already been lost by the Democrats.

HOLMES: But Megyn, the point that I would make, that a lot of conservatives say, part of the problem why we have these pitched battles over the Supreme Court is because there’s too much activism on the court. And if we went to these issues through the legislative battle you would see that more in terms of politics and elections.

KELLY: But that is what the originalists on the high court believe. Antonin Scalia used to say from the bench – and I sat on the court three years for Fox News listening to the arguments every day, in addition to my 10 years as a lawyer – and what originalists, like Scalia, like Kavanaugh believe is not that they should be making law from the bench. Their position is not, “We hate abortion” or “We hate” whatever the rights are. Their position is, “Why would you want nine gals and guys in robes making these decision for you? We’re just going to tell you what the Constitution requires and what it doesn’t require. And if you want the law to say something else, go take it up with the people who actually do have to answer to you, the ones you elect.”

GOLDMAN: So when you and I have our hour-long special analyzing the originalsim, [laughter] I will disagree with you. Because it’s a legal slight of hand to say that originalists are not activists. Over the last decade or more, the, quote, “originalists” have been incredibly activist, they’ve struck down many laws. And that’s what the conservative right has been pushing for, for three decades. And this is finally what they believe is their success story to get the court with five very, very conservative members.

MELVIN: I will say this. I do think – and President Obama has alluded to this in the past as well – I do think those on the right have managed to turn the Supreme Court into more of a galvanizing political issue.

GOLDMAN: 100%.

MELVIN: And now you’ve got a lot of folks on the left who –  

HOLMES: Who are intending to do the same.

MELVIN: Well, yeah.

GOLDMAN: This the benefit of the Trump bargain, right? I think a lot of conservatives, social conservatives, religious conservatives who objected to a lot of his rhetoric, a lot of his character.

KELLY: This was it.

GOLDMAN: Ultimately they said, “We’re going to vote for them because this is what we want.” And it’s only a year and a half in and they’re getting it.  

KELLY: Because the justices he would appoint are very, very different from the ones that Hillary Clinton would have appointed. But I’m telling you, if you sat at home on your bottom on November 8th, 2016 because you just didn’t whatever, then you have waived your right to complain. [Applause] Trump put out his list of people he wanted to nominate and most of them were far to the right of Brett Kavanaugh. And the American public put him in office. This is what elections are for. Presidents get the right to appoint Supreme Court justices, the Senate has the final say. But for history – for all of – I mean, you look back at the votes on Ginsburg, Scalia, from the left, you know, to the far right, they all got overwhelmingly confirmed because it used to be in this country that we understood those principles until Robert Bork. You can Google it, the history, how it all went south. Save America. [Laughter]

(...)


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