The GOP is sticking to its guns on President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Scalia. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP members of the Judiciary Committee have renewed their commitment to have no hearings and no votes until after the election.
McConnell spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday morning saying, “Presidents have a right to nominate just as the Senate has its constitutional right to provide or withhold consent. In this case the Senate will withhold it.”
Later in the day, the Associated Press reported McConnell was joined by GOP members of the Judiciary committee:
“No hearing, no vote,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., as he emerged from a closed-door meeting with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell…
“We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame-duck president,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican and like Graham, a member of the Judiciary Committee.
Hearings would be “a waste of time,” added Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
In a twist that must be causing some Democrats to pull their hair out, Republicans cited Joe Biden’s comments from 1992 as a rationale. In June of ’92 Biden suggested George H.W. Bush should not even consider nominating a judge to the Supreme Court should a vacancy become available. As it happened, one did not become available so Biden threw this monkey wrench into Democrats’ future plans to squeeze a nominee into an election year for nothing.
While the GOP seems to be (mostly) holding firm, there is evidence from a Pew Poll published yesterday that a majority of Americans believe the Senate should hold hearings on an Obama nominee. Pew found 56% of respondents in favor and 38% against.