Democrats took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court: The U.S. Senate mustn’t delay on finding a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, they say.
Well, maybe not inside the court, but at least to its First Street steps. An event on Thursday was the latest in a series Democrats have organized to make their case that Republicans are neglecting the Constitution. On Tuesday, Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee formally confirmed that they won’t hold a hearing or a vote on any Obama nominee; Republican leadership doesn’t plan to meet with the nominee, either.
“We have obstruction on steroids,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said from a lectern outside the Court on Thursday. “We want them to do their jobs. That’s all we ask.”
Senate Democrats have repeatedly framed their argument as nonpartisan: Senators are elected to perform certain duties, including considering Supreme Court nominees, they say, and each and every one should fulfill those obligations. They maintain that Republicans are ignoring the Constitution and historical precedent in postponing consideration of any nominee until a new, potentially Republican, president is in office. Those assembled Thursday—more than 20, or roughly half the caucus—seemed to bristle at a reporter’s suggestion that they’ve got self-interested motivations: that they want to confirm a nominee under a Democratic president, just as the GOP wants to wait and gamble on the possibility of a Republican pick. Reid denied this, saying flat-out that this isn’t a partisan issue.