Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is frustrated Republicans have refused to hold hearings or vote on President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court.
After conservative justice Antonin Scalia’s death earlier this year, Obama selected appellate court judge Merrick Garland as a replacement.
McCaskill claims the GOP majority Senate’s insistence the next president fill the vacancy is a historical move. “And not is a good way” said McCaskill. “There has never been a nominee for the Supreme Court by a president of the United States where the Senate has refused to hold a hearing and refused to hold a vote.”
Over the summer, Garland, broke the 100 year old record for longest gap between nomination and confirmation of a U.S. Supreme Court nominee. So far, he’s been waiting in vain for almost 180 days.
Late last week Democrats renewed their push to get a hearing for Garland when Vice President Joe Biden convened congressional party members to pressure Republicans.
McCaskill contends leaving the position vacant for so long threatens the country’s system of checks and balances. “The Supreme Court has had a number of ties already. They are not operating with a full complement, which means there are cases that are not being decided. They are just allowing the lower court decisions to stand because there is a 4-4 tie.”
McCaskill claims the inaction by Republicans sets a bad example for future Supreme Court nominations. “This refusing to do anything, I think, is a terrible precedent to be setting, regardless of what party you belong to, and regardless of who the president is.”
McCaskill says it would be the Republican majority’s prerogative to reject Obama’s nominee so long as they allowed an up-or-down vote.
Missouri’s GOP Senator Roy Blunt supports his party’s call for voters to have a voice in determining the next Supreme Court justice through the presidential election.