Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Obama will not pick the replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Scalia died this weekend in Texas of what appears to be natural causes.
According to Politico:
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate should not confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia until after the 2016 election, an aggressive move that precipitates a year of political sniping over the matter during a heated presidential race.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” the GOP leader said in a statement.
The statement from the Kentucky senator came barely an hour after the news of the conservative justice’s death was reported by major news outlets, belying his usual cautious nature and daring a bruising political fight with President Barack Obama…”
A former Scalia law clerk notes it ahs been 80 years since a justice was replaced in an election year, and letting Obama pick Scalia’s replacement would not be what Scalia would have wanted.
According to USA Today:
“Ed Whelan, a former Scalia law clerk and leading conservative on legal issues, argued it would be inappropriate for Obama to name Scalia’s replacement in an election year.
“It’s been more than 80 years since a Supreme Court justice was confirmed in an election year to a vacancy that arose that year, and there has never been an election-year confirmation that would so dramatically alter the ideological composition of the court,” Whelan said. “Senate Republicans would be grossly irresponsible to allow President Obama, in the last months of his presidency, to cement a liberal majority that will wreak havoc on the Constitution. Let the people decide in November who will select the next justice.”