A month after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama has nominated federal judge Merrick Garland to replace him.
But Republicans won’t let the nomination through.
The candidate, considered a “centrist” in some respects, won’t play into the nightmare scenario conjured up by some conservatives—where Obama attempts to replace Scalia with a liberal judge, slanting the Supreme Court toward the left—but Senate Republicans aren’t taking the offer.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 16, 2016
“The Senate will continue to observe the ‘Biden Rule’ so the American people have a voice in this momentous decision,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the floor of the Senate today. “The American people may well elect a president who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration. The next president may also nominate somebody very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy.”
The “Biden Rule” is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a video of vice president Joe Biden in 1992, back then a senator, calling for Republican president George H.W. Bush to let the next president nominate a Supreme Court Justice and let the American people decide.
McConnell had said right after Scalia’s death that the senate would not confirm any of Obama’s nominations for the Supreme Court, a position which has support from the rest of the party leadership.
“I fully support Leader McConnell and Chairman [Chuck] Grassley’s [R-Iowa] decision not to move forward with the confirmation process. We should let the American people decide the direction of the court,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement, according to the Hill.