At the beginning of President Obama’s first term as President, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that his main goal for the next four years was to make sure that Obama would be a one-term president. He failed in that, and now McConnell is again playing politics instead of doing his job as the leader of the Senate.
The same day that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, McConnell announced that he was not inclined to schedule a Senate hearing on any nomination for the Supreme Court made by President Obama and that, “This vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”
In other words, McConnell would leave a vacancy on the Court open for almost a year. In the debate on Saturday night, all the Republican candidates for President echoed his words.
President Obama has 342 more days until his term expires. His previous two Supreme Court nominees, Elena Kagan and Sylvia Sotomayor, required an average of 76 days from nomination to confirmation by the Senate. President Obama has stated that he wants to fulfill his constitutional mandate of appointing a new Supreme Court Justice. He has the time and the desire to do so. The statement of McConnell and the Republicans that they would refuse to even consider anyone that Obama nominates is really a declaration of political war.
It is past time for Republicans to stop their obstructionism and take their responsibility to govern seriously. They need to stop playing political games with the American people and do their job to work with President Obama to nominate the next Supreme Court Justice of the United States.