Facts on the table:
*President Obama has nominated Merrick B. Garland to be his nominee to replace Justice Scalia.
*Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has doubled down on his promise to not consider any nominee from President Obama for this position.
What are President Obama’s legal options? A recess appointment? Leave the GOP dangling and let the Democrats run hard against the GOP on “obstructionist” and related charges, which appear to finally be gaining traction, at least in “blue” states (witness the 8 or so senators who have decided to meet with Garland)? Something else?
It does appear that the public overwhelmingly thinks President Obama’s nominee—who is supposedly centrist and well-respected by many in the GOP—should be given fair consideration. Cite. I suspect this support will increase as Garland’s qualifications are made known.
I’d prefer this discussion not diverge into another round of arguing about McConnell’s and other leading GOP senators’ decision to not consider any nominee. We’ve been around and around that issue, and whether it has precedent, whether Democrats or Republicans are being hypocrites, etc. Please, no more of that for this thread, at least.
What is Obama’s long game, here? What really are his options, legally speaking?