WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP)– Senate Republicans said they will not hold confirmation hearings for any Supreme Court nominee appointed by President Obama.
In a letter on Tuesday, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that their panel refuse any hearings until a new president is sworn in.
“I believe the overwhelming view of the Republican conference of the Senate is that this nomination, this vacancy, should not be filled by this lame-duck president,” McConnell told reporters after his conference, CBS News reported.
McConnell said flatly that his party won’t permit a vote on any Supreme Court nominee submitted by Obama but will “revisit the matter” after the presidential election in November.
The Kentucky Republican acknowledged that Obama is within his rights to nominate a replacement to Antonin Scalia but said Republicans controlling the Senate would exercise their right to “withhold” consent.
In response, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused McConnell of taking his cues from Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. On the day of Scalia’s death, Trump told a debate audience that the Senate should “delay, delay, delay.”
Scalia’s death has incited a major fight in Washington over whether Obama should be able to replace him in an election year.
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