Obama To Name SCOTUS Choice At 11AM; Senate Required To Act? Not At All


President Obama has made his decision as to who he wants to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. The choice has not been made public as of yet though I suspect it will be leaked prior to the President’s announcement. This is a big moment because some were speculating the President might make a “consensus” choice – one the GOP majority in the Senate might be able to support.


But does anybody believe the President is going to do that? 

From NBC:

President Obama will announce his nominee for the Supreme Court justice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on Wednesday.

He’s not naming the pick before the 11 a.m. announcement at the White House Rose Garden, but the subject line of an email to supporters said: “I’ve made my decision.”

His next comments are critical to this entire issue:

“In putting forward a nominee today, I am fulfilling my constitutional duty. I’m doing my job,” Obama said. “I hope that our Senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee. That is what the Constitution dictates, and that’s what the American people expect and deserve from their leaders.”

This has been a constant talking point among Democrats. The GOP has said they will not consider Obama’s Supreme Court pick this year and Democrats have predictably whined and blubbered that Republicans in the Senate are “not doing their job.” But is the Senate required to consider Obama’s nominee?


The Washington Post looked into and here is their conclusion:

As you can see, there is no recent parallel to the current situation: a president filling a sudden vacancy on the court in an election year when the Senate is controlled by the opposition party, particularly when the vacancy occurred with nearly a year left in the presidential term.

But it is also clear that politics has always played a role — and the Senate has set the rules to act as it wants. Nearly 200 years ago, the Senate made it clear that it was not required to act on a Supreme Court nomination. In periods of divided government, especially with elections looming, the Senate has chosen not to act — or to create circumstances under which the president’s nominee either withdrew or was not considered. Indeed, the patterns don’t suggest the Senate used procedures out of constitutional duty, out of deference for what the Constitution says or what previous Senates have done. Instead they used procedures based on the political circumstances of each confirmation.

It’s matter of opinion whether a refusal to consider a nominee is a dereliction of constitutional duty or walking away from a constitutional responsibility. But the Senate majority can in effect do what it wants – unless it becomes politically uncomfortable. Democrats who suggest otherwise are simply telling supporters a politically convenient fairy tale.


Emphasis mine. Democrats were awarded:


The only problem is, despite this obvious falsehood, the media is going to carry water for Obama and will continue to parrot the Democrat talking points on Republicans “not doing their job.” It’s a matter of whether or not a coalition can be held together long enough to prevent what is likely to be a disastrous pick.


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