John Kasich bombs answer on Supreme Court nominations

John Kasich is running as the reasonable moderate in the Republican race. John Kasich is neither reasonable nor moderate.

It’s especially difficult for Kasich to square this circle given his insistence of toeing the Republican Party line with a smile on his face. Check out this answer he gave to Stephen Colbert when asked if he would, presented with a Supreme Court vacancy in the last year of his term, nominate a replacement:

Said Kasich:

John Kasich, via Michael Vadon / Flickr

John Kasich, via Michael Vadon / Flickr

Kasich: I’ll tell you what the problem is: As soon as Scalia died — it was one minute after his death — the politics started. We are so divided down there. And my approach is this: I’ve said the president oughtta withhold this, and then we’re gonna have an election…

Colbert: We had an election in 2012…

Kasich: All I’m saying is, it’s an opportunity for people to — number one, vote for president — and also have a say on who’s going to be on the Supreme Court. If I were president, just like when I’m Governor of Ohio, you have to bring people together. And you can’t have all this fighting back and forth like we have in Washington. You can’t solve these problems, Stephen — Social Security, you can’t solve the border, you can’t get the economy growing — unless you have some sense of unity.

Colbert: So if you were president — if you were President Obama — you would say “I will not appoint anyone.”

Kasich: No I’m saying…if I were president, we’re not gonna have this division. Because I’m going to spend my time building bridges so we can grow this economy…

Kasich: We’re going to have an election now in, before we know it, the blink of an eye. And then that president will have the confirmation to be able to appoint who they want. And I think it will be a more orderly, less political fight than what we’re seeing now. [audience boos]

To be clear, this is John Kasich bemoaning how politicized the Supreme Court nomination process has become in one sentence, while embracing the very argument that has politicized the process in the next sentence. The claim that a president should refrain from filling a Supreme Court vacancy during the last year of their term is entirely unprecedented. It very obviously has nothing to do with constitutional principle and everything to do with partisan advantage. It is not reasonable, nor is it moderate, to say that President Obama should become the first president in American history to abdicate his constitutional responsibility to fill vacancies on our nation’s highest court simply because he’d be filling a vacancy left by a justice who didn’t share his politics.

He’s got a cute schtick going, but it isn’t hard to imagine why Republicans outside of New Hampshire aren’t buying it.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • southwillsink

    Typical mealy mouthed republican my way or the highway bullshit. I have some news for you Kasich, you won’t get the chance and neither will any of the other Dushebags on the republican side.

  • Chris Holzer

    dyslexia much?

  • spe168

    We hate him here in Ohio

  • Nicholas A Kocal

    Kasich is a lying douche nozzle. The entire reason for the division in this country is because of the ignorant racists that comprise the bulk of the Republican party.

  • gratuitous

    I guess Republicans are disappointed that Justice Scalia didn’t live forever, and they didn’t have a Plan B for that eventuality. “Whoa, an overweight 79-year-old smoker died of a heart attack! Didn’t see that coming.”

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Here’s how the conversation should have gone.

    Kasich: I’ll tell you what the problem is: As soon as Scalia died — it was one minute after his death — the politics started. We are so divided down there. And my approach is this: I’ve said the president oughtta withhold this, and then we’re gonna have an election…

    Colbert: We had an election in 2012…

    Kasich: All I’m saying is, it’s an opportunity for people to — number one, vote for president

    Colbert: We had an election in 2012.

    Kasich: — and also have a say on who’s going to be on the Supreme Court.

    Colbert: We had an election in 2012.

    Kasich: If I were president, just like when I’m Governor of Ohio, you have to bring people together. And you can’t have all this fighting back and forth like we have in Washington.

    Colbert: We had an election in 2012, which should have resolved the issue of who gets to, you know, appoint Supreme Court justices, so..

    Kasich: You can’t solve these problems, Stephen — Social Security, you can’t solve the border, you can’t get the economy growing — unless you have some sense of unity.

    Colbert: We had an election in 2012. That solved the new-justice thing, so we should be able to move along to those other issues now. Anyway, John Kasich, ladies and gentlemen.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Pretty sure it was politicized explicitly by the GOP. It’s not often that you can see who politicized something first, but this was all McConnell. Dem strategists were reportedly kind of stunned that they had to start with a strategy so soon, but McConnell tipped their hand.

  • Badgerite

    PBWB, (Being President While Black)

  • Doug105

    John Kasich is a dead-end at this point, not worth the time to read or write about.

  • Badgerite

    See Bush v Gore. Politicized? What else is new.
    I don’t know about reasonable or moderate. When it comes to the GOP these days, what qualifies for “reasonable or moderate” is not full on crazy conspiracy theorist.

  • douglas01

    Kasick already admitted on Chris Matthews that if he were President he would nominate someone. The constitution somehow does not apply to black presidents. The entire GOP is filled with racist IMHO. They have tried to make Obama illegitimate since day one.

  • 2karmanot

    Maebleity garble, applesauce

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