On Sunday, Reuters‘ White House correspondent tweeted that President Obama will wait until the Senate is back in session and will not make a recess appointment to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Scalia died on Saturday of a heart-attack in a West Texas resort, he was 79.
The President indicated that he will appoint a replacement for Scalia and that there is plenty of time for that nominee to be confirmed by the Senate before the end of his term in January 2017.
“There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote,” he told reporters late Saturday evening.
Many Republicans have said they would fight the President and want the appointment to be delayed until after the election.
The Republicans are hoping that if they win the White House in November they will be able to replace Scalia with another extreme conservative and keep the balance of the court as it was at five conservatives and four liberals.
Ted Cruz has argued that it would be inappropriate for the President to nominate a replacement in an election year.
During the CBS debate on Saturday night, Cruz argued that there was “80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year.”
CBS moderator John Dickerson corrected Cruz, pointing out that Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed 1988, an election year.
Cruz then denied that this was true, claiming that Kennedy was confirmed in ’87, but of course he was in fact confirmed in ’88, an election year, which anyone with access to the internet can verify.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also warned the President against nominating a replacement for Scalia.
“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.
The President has more than a year left in his term of office. He cannot stop being President and abandon his duties just because that would be convenient for the Republican agenda right now.
Additionally one of the three branches of the American government cannot be paralyzed by a 4-4 for more than a year because it suits conservative interests. The President has a responsibility to the American people to nominate a replacement as soon as possible.
[POLITICO] [The Hill] [Business Insider]