Following the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Republicans are speaking out against President Barack Obama’s duty to nominate a successor.
Republicans have bashed and rejected pretty much everything Obama has tried to do since becoming president, even blaming him for things he has absolutely no control over.
Now that Obama has to replace Scalia, they are already planning to block his nominations before he has even made one.
"This is a 5-4 court — the next election needs to be a referendum on the court," Cruz told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "People need to decide."
According to Cruz, despite the fact that the Constitution says the president is to nominate justices of the Supreme Court, the decision should be placed in the hands of voters.
"Article II Section 2 of the Constitution says the President of the United States nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate. I can't find a clause that says '...except when there's a year left in the term of a Democratic President,'" Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) wrote in a Facebook post Sunday, slamming Republicans for vowing to block Obama’s nominations.
Cruz isn’t the only one calling on the Senate to reject a nomination from Obama; Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) have all expressed similar views.
According to the New York Times, a major Republican argument for going against the Constitution — noted by Cruz — is that it has been “standard practice” for 80 years not to confirm any Supreme Court nominee in an election year.
This, however, isn’t actually true as Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed by a Democratic Senate in 1988. Furthermore, Scalia’s untimely death also presents a special circumstance.
The Supreme Court of the United States is set to hear some very big cases this year including those dealing with abortion rights, contraception, immigration, public-sector unions and redistricting. Scalia’s death brings the possibility of a 4-4 split in these decisions, which is not preferred.
Nonetheless, Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to keep Obama from making a nomination.
"I really wish the president would think about not nominating somebody," said GOP presidential candidate John Kasich (R-Ohio), who finished second in the New Hampshire primary. "I think we ought to let the next president of the United States decide who is going to run the Supreme Court with a vote by the people of the United States of America."
Ironically, McConnell and other conservatives are citing the “Thurmond Rule” which indicates that a president can’t confirm justices in the last year of their term, however, in 2008 when George W. Bush was president and Democrats controlled the Senate, Republicans were denouncing that such a rule even exists, according to the Daily Beast.
“Let me say this about the Thurmond Rule. It is a myth. It does not exist. There is no reason for stopping the confirmation of judicial nominees in the second half of a year in which there is a presidential election,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) previously said.
Skip to 2016 and oh … how the tables have turned.
A statement released by neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson (R-Michigan), said that Scalia has angered both liberals and conservatives due to the fact that he “never wavered in his dedication to the Constitution.” He then followed that statement by calling on the Senate to block any of Obama’s attempts to fill the vacant seat.
How hypocritical is that? In one sentence you praise Scalia’s dedication to the Constitution but then turn around and ask the Senate to go against that very document to further your own political party’s agenda?
Let’s face it, the only reason conservatives are doing this is because they are hopeful that the American people will vote a Republican as the next president who would appoint a conservative justice. Their tactics are not truly about allowing the voters to have a say in who ends up in Scalia’s seat.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters