Senator Perdue & GOP Senate Judiciary Committee Members Tell McConnell They Will Withhold Consent On Obama SCOTUS Nomination

From a press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicating that he will exercise his constitutional authority to withhold consent of any nominee submitted by President Barack Obama and the Senate Judiciary Committee will not hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee until the next President is sworn in.

The letter, signed by all Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, says, “The American people are presented with an exceedingly rare opportunity to decide, in a very real and concrete way, the direction the Court will take over the next generation. We believe The People should have this opportunity.”

The Senators added, “Accordingly, given the particular circumstances under which this vacancy arises, we wish to inform you of our intention to exercise our constitutional authority to withhold consent on any nominee to the Supreme Court submitted by this President to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy. Because our decision is based on constitutional principle and born of a necessity to protect the will of the American people, this Committee will not hold hearings on any Supreme Court nominee until after our next President is sworn in on January 20, 2017.”

The full text of the letter can be found below.

Dear Majority Leader McConnell,

As we write, we are in the midst of a great national debate over the course our country will take in the coming years. The Presidential election is well underway. Americans have already begun to cast their votes. As we mourn the tragic loss of Justice Antonin Scalia, and celebrate his life’s work, the American people are presented with an exceedingly rare opportunity to decide, in a very real and concrete way, the direction the Court will take over the next generation. We believe The People should have this opportunity.

Over the last few days, much has been written about the constitutional power to fill Supreme Court vacancies, a great deal of it inaccurate. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution is clear. The President may nominate judges of the Supreme Court. But the power to grant, or withhold, consent to such nominees rests exclusively with the United States Senate. This is not a difficult or novel constitutional question. As Minority Leader Harry Reid observed in 2005, “The duties of the Senate are set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Nowhere in that document does it say the Senate has a duty to give the Presidential nominees a vote. It says appointments shall be made with the advice and consent of the Senate. That is very different than saying every nominee receives a vote.”

We intend to exercise the constitutional power granted the Senate under Article II, Section 2 to ensure the American people are not deprived of the opportunity to engage in a full and robust debate over the type of jurist they wish to decide some of the most critical issues of our time. Not since 1932 has the Senate confirmed in a presidential election year a Supreme Court nominee to a vacancy arising in that year. And it is necessary to go even further back — to 1888 — in order to find an election year nominee who was nominated and confirmed under divided government, as we have now.

Accordingly, given the particular circumstances under which this vacancy arises, we wish to inform you of our intention to exercise our constitutional authority to withhold consent on any nominee to the Supreme Court submitted by this President to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy. Because our decision is based on constitutional principle and born of a necessity to protect the will of the American people, this Committee will not hold hearings on any Supreme Court nominee until after our next President is sworn in on January 20, 2017.

Sincerely,

Chuck Grassley
Orrin Hatch
Jeff Sessions
Lindsey Graham
John Cornyn
Mike Lee
Ted Cruz
Jeff Flake
David Vitter
David Perdue
Thom Tillis

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ScottNAtlantaDave BearseThree JackbilldawersNoway2016 Recent comment authors
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Saltycracker
Saltycracker

So does this mean we (both sides) can table beating the subject to death until next year ?

Calypso
Calypso

“…born of a necessity to protect the will of the American people…” I’ve said it on this website before, but since you made it a posting of its own, I’ll say it again. This is a chicken$hit move by the Republicans, particularly those claiming President Obama should not even make an appointment for the Senate to consider. I have no use for Obama at all, but the “will of the American people” was indicated in the past two presidential elections. Both terms are of four years apiece, totaling eight years, not seven years and one month. It is most certainly… Read more »

Calypso
Calypso

P.S. This could also come back to bite them in the ass if the Dems take the Senate back in November.

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

Personally, I’d rather Obama choose the next SC Justice than any of the current candidates. His previous choices were reasonable. But that’s just me. Also agree with Calypso that the voters chose this president for two 4 year terms and we don’t expect the government to stop for the entire last year. Of course, that presumes they were engaged in some activity to begin with. The constitution made the judicial branch the only branch whose members are not elected, in my opinion, for a reason. This isn’t about the will of the people.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

GOP Presidential candidates: “Let one of us choose the next Supreme Court justice! In the meantime, here are a bunch of absolutist statements about gay marriage, abortion, and other social issues that are far outside the mainstream of American thought.”

Yeah, no way that strategy backfires.

edatlanta
edatlanta

Glad to see Republicans be candid with how little they care about the constitution. There’s obviously a magic line at which point a President loses the legitimacy for him to carry out his duties required by, you know, being elected President. Perhaps Republicans want to say when that happens?

This is crybaby-ism at it’s finest and that Democrats do it too isn’t much of an endorsement.

xdog
xdog

I won’t say anything about the ongoing obstructionism of gopers except to say that the bulk of Senators on that list are so far right they’ve wouldn’t recognize the center if it ran them down, which hopefully will happen one day.

Re Scalia’s death, they act as if he’s the first and last SC justice to ever die in office.

billdawers
billdawers

A few likely/possible outcomes, if the Republican Senators stick to this course: *Even if a Republican President is elected in November, the Democrats in the Senate will have this stonewalling fresh in their minds and will filibuster any eventual SC nominee who can’t plausibly be called a moderate. So the center of the court will move left no matter what. *As noted by others, vulnerable Republicans Senators will find themselves in even more trouble this year. The Republicans are defending 24 Senate seats in November, some of which flipped in 2010 — in an off-year election in the wake of… Read more »

Bart
Bart

If we keep looking back to find reasons for doing the same stupid crap over and over again, we will never get out of this partisan rut. Yes certain prominent dems said and did stupid stuff, so did many on the GOP side. But do we want to remain in a constant state of Pee Wee Hermanesque ‘I know you are, but what am I’? Obama is a disaster. But he is our disaster since the GOP failed to fulfill it’s push card promises or put forth adequate candidates to challenge him. Thus we are left to deal with this… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

“The American people are presented with an exceedingly rare opportunity to decide, in a very real and concrete way, the direction the Court will take over the next generation. We believe The People should have this opportunity.” I’ll go ahead and dispose of the obvious rebuttal to this: “the American people decided who gets to fill this opening when they voted in 2012.” I want to add that the Constitution doesn’t say jack crap about the American people getting to decide who gets appointed to the Supreme Court. In case you haven’t noticed, the Constitution is pretty solid evidence that… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Obama will nominate someone that would promptly and readily be confirmed in usual circumstances. Ed Lindsey recently did a great job calling for a choice being made. What say you, frequent commenters? Aye or nay, do you approve or disapprove of “withhold[ing] consent on any nominee to the Supreme Court submitted by this President to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy”? This could blow up the Senate as Mr. Pope has indicated, including the Presidential election. Most informed people other than Republicans—centrists, independents, swing voters, etc, even if they disapprove of Obama, and all Dems—will disapprove. I think many Republicans disapprove its… Read more »

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

There is “advise and consent” and nothing. Those of you that think that is that same thing are really a lot more in your bubble of self justification than I would have thought. That people on this blog think this is outrageous says more than enough to me that its a bad strategy. My vote from 2012 should count despite those who claim to represent me (they dont). Its about time republicans stopped acting like petulant children and put their country and the Constitution they like to wave at any convenient moment first. Oh, btw …8 of the 13 circuit… Read more »