Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is firing back at Senate Republicans over their refusal to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia until there’s a new president next year.
In a Washington Post op-ed published Monday, the Nevada senator claimed Republicans have “insulted” the American people’s intelligence by “pretending there is a historical precedent for what they are about to do.”
“If my Republican colleagues proceed down this reckless path, they should know that this act alone will define their time in the majority,” Reid wrote. “Thinking otherwise is fantasy. If Republicans proceed, they will ensure that this Republican majority is remembered as the most nakedly partisan, obstructionist and irresponsible majority in history.”
Reid cited the election-year confirmation of Justice Anthony Kennedy, as proof that a President has the constitutional power to pick judges during the last year of their administrations.
“The Senate has confirmed Supreme Court nominees both in election years and in the last year of a presidency — as recently as 1988, a presidential election year when a Democratic Senate confirmed President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in the final year of his administration,” Reid said.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for the White House to hold off on choosing a replacement for Scalia until after a new president is elected.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President,” McConnell said in a statement on Saturday.
President Barack Obama has vowed to nominate a replacement for Scalia.