Republican Leadership Doubles Down: They Are Determined to Prevent Senate From Doing Its Job
The U.S. Constitution provides that the President “shall nominate” judges of the Supreme Court “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” It took just moments after the announcement of Justice Scalia’s passing, however, for some Republican Senators to declare that they intended to leave the seat vacant until a new president is sworn in.
President Obama made clear that he intends to nominate someone to replace Justice Scalia. Despite the fact that a majority of Americans thinks that the Senate should do its job and hold hearings once President Obama does so, Senate Republicans are persisting in their obstruction. Last week, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee declared that the Committee would not hold hearings on a nominee. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would not even meet with President Obama’s nominee. And Tuesday, Senator McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee chair Senator Chuck Grassley reiterated to President Obama at a meeting at the White House that they do not intend to allow the Senate to consider a Supreme Court nominee.
This kind of refusal by these Senators to do their job is unprecedented. I enjoy a little political theater as much as anyone, but the Senate has a constitutional responsibility that Republican leaders need to start taking seriously. When President Obama does his job and announces a nominee, Senate Republicans should stop playing games and do theirs. It’s time for these Senators to #DoYourJob and agree to expeditiously and fairly consider the President’s upcoming nominee to the Supreme Court.