Will Congress forestall every attempt by Obama to appoint a new justice for the rest of his term?

Notice I said every attempt, not any. I could see them rejecting one, possibly even two nominees. Beyond that, I think they’ll have to knuckle under.

Mitch McConnell says “No way!”

Harry Reid counters with, “Way!”


I have no idea. I think it would be a bad idea for them to obstruct for an entire year, but then, the current crop of Republicans doesn’t seem to have any trouble coming up with bad ideas.

I voted no, but I hadn’t seen McConnell’s statement then. I’ve posted an appropriate comment in the Pit.

They will never confirm another Obama nominee.

And when President Clinton or President Sanders gathers together all those nominations, signs his or her name right under Obama’s, and sends them all back to the Senate, Republicans will say, “Look, the next election is only three years and 364 days away. We think the people should have a say in this.”

The people had a say in this. In 2012, the people elected Obama to be President. If they wanted nominees that the Republicans like, they had every chance to elect Romney. They didn’t.

I was about to post a longer, more vitriolic version of this; thanks for saving me the trouble, Frank.

Last I checked, we overwhelmingly elected Obama to be president until noon on Jan 20, 2017. We did not elect him for a three year term, it was for four years. Thus he has every right to nominate a replacement. Of course, I have no expectations that the Republicans have any intention of considering any nominee.

Not even this lot can be that obstructionist!

Og, how I wish I really was sure of that.

The Rs will make every attempt to obstruct forever. Whether they succeed is a separate matter.

Which will greatly depend on the mood of the country as the clock keeps ticking.

I suspect with all the rest of the political crap going on between today & January there will be no groundswell of popular anger that Congress has to appease by “knuckling under”.

Their refrain will be simple: “What part of ‘No, forever and ever, amen.’ don’t you Ds understand?”

I think it’s a tossup that hugely depends on who the nominee is. This is a precarious situation for the Rs because on one hand this has long-term implications, and OTOH obstructionism in this political climate could backfire on them really badly if they refuse to confirm a moderate of impeccable credentials.

And then again the Koch spin machine will paint said moderate nominee as a Marxist who eats puppies for breakfast and should never have been allowed to graduate law school, so who knows. I think the word here is “clusterfuck”.

I hope he nominates another woman of Kagan’s qualifications. Even the idiots in the Senate would balk at denying a brilliant female minority of a chance at the bench.

Why break a perfect record?

This. Obama could nominate the reincarnated ghost of Ronald Reagan and he wouldn’t be confirmed.

President Obama has the right to make an appointment (and he should - an 8-person court can be disruptive, especially when having to decide which cases to hear), and the Senate has the equal right to reject it (tell Robert Bork otherwise). I think the Republicans will keep the court at 8 justices until the next President comes in, assuming it doesn’t result in the Democrats somehow getting control first.

Of course, the Senate would have to be sure it doesn’t have a 10-day or longer recess, as that would allow Obama to make a recess appointment that would be good until the new Senate convenes in January.

Based on what? The GOP probably believes they will win 2016 in a landslide. The entire party has moved into delusional territory (It used to just be the base who were delusional). In the final weeks of 2012 Romney and Ryan were campaigning in PA because their manipulated polls said they could win there.

So the GOP probably thinks they will win 2016 in a landslide, so I could see them forstalling this. A new SCOTUS judge is a 20-30 year appointment.

I am absolutely sure that Obama will make a nomination, as is his right and his responsibility.

I am also absolutely sure the GOP majority in the Senate will do their usual parliamentary sleight-of-hand to remain “in session” through the end of Obama’s term, denying him the chance to make a recess appointment (people forget that both Earl Warren and William Brennan were both originally put on the court through recess appointments).

I am pretty sure, though, that any Obama nominee, no matter how well-qualified, will be blocked. Even if every Democrat and Independent in the Senate voted for the nominee, I doubt he or she would make it successfully through a filibuster or even an up-or-down vote. There are very, very few Republicans brave enough to vote for even a very well-qualified Obama nominee for SCOTUS this late in Obama’s second term - but I would be delighted to be proven wrong.

If I were Obama, I would quietly be reaching out to Chief Justice Roberts to see if he’d be willing to say that the Supreme Court should not be forced to work for almost a year with a vacancy, and also both former Presidents Bush to say that their successor, the incumbent, ought to make a nomination and that the Senate ought to vote on it. Getting some prominent Republican support like that would be very useful in dealing with a recalcitrant Senate majority.

He would be smart to nominate a moderate Latino or African American. A Senate blockade would likely help with minority turnout for either Democratic candidate.

Roberts seems to be a decent sort who is concerned for the best interests of the Court.

Yeah, I definitely agree that this thread will vary depending on whether we’re talking about desires, action, or success.