Senate Republicans determined to stop Obama court nominee
"We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame-duck president," Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas) told reporters Tuesday after a special meeting of the committee.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said members of the panel reached a "consensus" that there should not be hearings or a vote on President Obama's nominee.
"My decision is that I don't think we should have a hearing. We should let the next president pick the Supreme Court justice," he said after emerging from a meeting in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office.
The committee Republicans left McConnell’s office and walked straight into a lunch with the party conference to brief their colleagues.
After the meeting, McConnell said the rest of the Senate Republican Conference backed the Judiciary Committee's unanimous position.
And given their recommendation, McConnell said, he wouldn't bother to even meet with an Obama nominee.
They didn't have much choice. If Republicans had bowed to pressure and held hearings, what's left of the GOP base would have tossed the worthies out on their ears. And any move to advance an Obama nominee would have given Democrats and their allies in the press the opening they need to make a nomination fight the only story in town.
We will give Republicans the benefit of the doubt on this for now. But we will also be watching their words and deeds very closely on this matter in the weeks to come.