Republican Judiciary Committee members Charles Grassley and Thom Tillis both suggested in recent days that the Senate might at least consider an Obama-nominated Supreme Court replacement for Antonin Scalia. Now, however, GOP leaders say that the Judiciary Committee’s Republican members are in fact unanimously opposed to the idea. From Talking Points Memo:
The Republican members of the Judiciary Commitee were unanimous in agreeing not to move forward with any Obama nominee for the Supreme Court, said [Senator John] Cornyn, who was in the meeting. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who was not in the meeting, later said that GOP senators were told at their weekly lunch that the Judiciary Committee Republicans were in unanimous agreement on the strategy.
The Washington Post, meanwhile, reports that the GOP plans to technically keep the Senate in session until Obama’s term ends—in 2015, the chamber was only in session for 166 days—so that the president cannot make a “recess appointment.” From the Post:
That means that even when the Senate is not conducting legislative business, senators will have to gavel in to a short “pro forma” session simply to keep a session going. Previously, that has meant that one or two senators will go to the Senate floor every three days, strike the gavel to enter session and gavel out shortly after.
Republican presidents’ Supreme Court nominees were confirmed by majority Democratic Senates less than a year before a presidential election in 1971, 1975, and 1988.