News / USA

    Republicans Harden Opposition to Obama Supreme Court Nominee

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, holds a news conference with fellow Republican leaders on possible Supreme Court nominations after their party caucus luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 23, 2016.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, holds a news conference with fellow Republican leaders on possible Supreme Court nominations after their party caucus luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 23, 2016.
    Michael Bowman

    Numerous Senate Republicans have hardened their stance against any Supreme Court nominee put forth by President Barack Obama for the remainder of his term in office.

    “No [confirmation] hearings,” said Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma as he emerged from a weekly gathering of the Republican caucus.

    “I’m not going to meet with the nominee,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “There will be no hearing, no vote. We’ll let the next president decide.”

    For more than a week, most Republicans had argued that the next president, not Obama, should pick a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this month. But until Tuesday, few had spelled out whether that meant voting to reject a nominee after confirmation hearings or an absolute refusal to grant any consideration whatsoever to an Obama nominee.

    Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky confirmed the prevailing sentiment after the caucus meeting.

    “My view, and I can now confidently say the view shared by virtually everybody in my conference, is that … this vacancy should not be filled by this lame-duck president,” McConnell said.

    Democrats: Obama should appoint

    Democrats met separately behind closed doors and signaled no retreat from their insistence that Obama is both entitled and duty-bound to fill judicial vacancies throughout his term, which ends in January 2017.

    “I would hope that Republicans will relent from a position that is unconstitutional and unsupported by the vast majority of the American people,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. “My message to Republicans is: Do your job.”

    “I’ve talked with the president, and I know he will fulfill his constitutional duty. He will nominate an individual to bring the Supreme Court back to full strength. And of course, he should,” said Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    “The next nominee to the Supreme Court deserves full and fair consideration by the Senate. That includes a timely hearing and then an up-or-down vote,” Leahy added.

    Hoping for moderate pick

    Obama could name his pick for the high court any day. Some of his Senate allies are urging a moderate jurist who will be difficult for Republicans to stonewall.

    “Justice Scalia was one of the most conservative justices in American history,” said Democrat Chris Coons of Delaware. “I do not think President Obama should seek to replace him with a comparably outspoken progressive nominee. I don’t think this moment calls for that. I think this moment calls for balance and for challenging Republicans to put principle and our Constitution ahead of partisan advantage.”

    Asked whether a moderate selection would alter his opposition to confirmation hearings, Republican Inhofe gave a succinct response: “No.”

    A few Republican senators have said an Obama nominee deserves Senate consideration and an up-or-down vote. But they are too few to help Democrats overcome a filibuster of the nomination, if it ever reached the Senate floor.

    Banking on public support

    For now, both sides appear to be banking on public support for their stances, with Republicans seemingly eager to cast this year’s elections as a referendum on the future of the Supreme Court.

    “Who will Americans trust to nominate the next Supreme Court justice?” McConnell said. “Will we allow the people to continue deciding who will nominate the next justice, or will we empower a lame-duck president to make that decision on his way out the door instead?”

    “We’ll see what the American people cause them [Republicans] to do,” said Democrat Blumenthal. “The American people hold the ultimate hammer, and let’s hope they use it.”

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    February 23, 2016 11:45 PM
    The imbecility of the GOP is just astonishing.

    GOP is not relevant anymore for the U.S.

    GOP lives in an imaginary small world.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora