News / USA

    Obama, Democrats Pledge to Defy Republicans on Court Vacancy

    From left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., talk to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington about Senate Republicans' refusal to act on any Supreme Court nomination.
    From left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., talk to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington about Senate Republicans' refusal to act on any Supreme Court nomination.
    Michael Bowman

    One day after Senate Republicans slammed the door on confirming a Supreme Court nominee this year, President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats pledged to continue working to fill the vacancy created by the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

    “The Constitution says that I nominate candidates for the Supreme Court when there’s a vacancy, and the Senate exercises its constitutional authority to advise and consent. I’m going to do my job,” Obama said.

    “We just keep pushing it, and I think the public’s on our side,” Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said when asked about her party’s strategy to force Republicans, who control the chamber, to alter their stance.

    FILE - Senator Amy Klobuchar.FILE - Senator Amy Klobuchar.
    x
    FILE - Senator Amy Klobuchar.
    FILE - Senator Amy Klobuchar.

    Klobuchar sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, tasked with holding confirmation hearings on federal court nominees. On Tuesday, the committee’s entire Republican membership said there would be no hearings and no consideration whatsoever of any Supreme Court nominee Obama put forward.

    A day later, those committee members vowed to hold firm.

    “A majority in this Senate is not going to move a nominee this year,” said Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama. “It’s not going to happen.”

    “The Senate has every right not to have a hearing, and we shouldn’t go through some motions [of considering a nominee],” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, also a Republican Judiciary Committee member. “This nominee will not be confirmed.”

    'Their job' is to review

    Obama said he aimed to convince them otherwise.

    “My hope and expectation is that once there is an actual nominee, once this is no longer a hypothetical, that those on the Judiciary Committee recognize that their job is to give this person a review, to show the courtesy of meeting with them,” the president said.

    Democrats on the Judiciary Committee echoed that message.

    “My hope remains that the president will nominate someone who is so obviously qualified and so eminently confirmable that it will cause them [Republicans] to reconsider,” Senator Chris Coons of Delaware told VOA.

    FILE - Senator Lindsey Graham.FILE - Senator Lindsey Graham.
    x
    FILE - Senator Lindsey Graham.
    FILE - Senator Lindsey Graham.

    Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina scoffed at the suggestion, saying it mattered “not one lick” who Obama nominated.

    “He could nominate me and I wouldn’t vote for me,” Graham added.

    For now, Democrats are declining to say what they are prepared to do in the event of a yearlong Republican blockade of a Supreme Court nominee. When asked by reporters, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, responded with a question of his own.

    “You mean force senators to actually follow their oath of office and uphold the Constitution?” Leahy said. “Gosh. You know, if someone has taken a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution, you would think they would have a sense of morality and do it.”

    Others are counseling patience.

    “Look, let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” Coons said. “The president hasn’t yet offered a nominee."

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: George from: Evans Mills NY
    February 24, 2016 11:09 PM
    The audacity of these people. Obama has ignored his constitutional duties on many occasions. His failure to enforce immigration laws is just one. Obama's actions have been struck down by the Supreme Court over 20 times, when the Justices ruled against him. No. We'll take Obama's, Schumer's and Biden's past advice, when they argued not to confirm Republican nominations. We still remember Ted Kennedy (the one that killed Mary Joe Kopechne), may he rot in hell, when he destroyed Bork's character during his hearing for Justice. Harry Reid spent years obstructing Senate business by not holding any debates on the Senate floor. Again, these obstructionist Democrat bastards have a lot of nerve criticizing Republicans.

    by: James Dire from: West Hollywood CA USA
    February 24, 2016 6:53 PM
    I heard today that President Obama is considering a Republican, or some other right-winger, as a Supreme Court nominee to placate the obstreperous, obstructionist Republicans in the Senate who refuse to even consider any nominee he puts forward.

    This would be like negotiating an “agreement” with a burglar who you discover in your house—to make him happy you willingly part with your silverware, big-screen TV and car if he leaves your jewelry and cash behind.

    The GOP Senate leadership (as well as their entire spineless caucus) are violating the Constitution by refusing outright to consider any nominee that President Obama sends them. And if Obama tries to get a nominee considered by “bargaining” with these legislative terrorist hostage-takers, he will be violating the Constitution too.

    Mr President, DON’T NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS!

    by: MuchMaligned from: Madison, WI
    February 24, 2016 5:06 PM
    How is this defiance? The president's job is nominate. The Senate's job is to advice and consent. Are you humps unfamiliar with the definitions of these terms?

    by: meanbill from: USA
    February 24, 2016 4:33 PM
    Democrats are using political propaganda now in the news media, and they and the news media are being hypocritical about the fact that hundreds of bills and federal appointments are held-up in committee and never come to the floor for a vote every year? .. It's a part of the constitution that limits presidential powers to circumvent the constitutional process? .. It's a congressional constitutional process that both sides use every year by the majority party in power? .. Look for the obvious, and ignore the propaganda?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora