Key Republican senators vowed Tuesday not to vote or even hold a hearing on any Supreme Court nominee by President Obama to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia — a move likely to put the replacement process in a holding pattern, for now.
Though some GOP lawmakers appeared to waver in recent days in their opposition to considering a nominee, party leaders largely united Tuesday.
First, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his party will not permit a vote. Then, every GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee penned a letter pledging not to even hold a hearing until the next president is sworn into office.
“[W]e wish to inform you of our intention to exercise our constitutional authority to withhold consent on any nominee to the Supreme Court submitted by this President to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy,” they wrote in the letter to McConnell.
“Because our decision is based on constitutional principle and born of a necessity to protect the will of the American people, this Committee will not hold hearings on any Supreme Court nominee until after our next President is sworn in on January 20, 2017.”