Two moderate Republican Senators have broken ranks with GOP leadership. Both have declared their support for giving President Obama’s nominee to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court a hearing.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) have both indicated they believe the President has a right to appoint a successor to Justice Scalia and that the Senate has a duty to consider that nominee.
Speaking on CNN, Collins said “I believe we should follow the regular order and give careful consideration to any nominee that the president may send to the Senate.” Collins further issued a statement to the Portland Press Herald:
“As with all judicial nominees, but especially for a Supreme Court justice, I consider carefully the nominee’s intellect, integrity, qualifications, experience, temperament and respect for the Constitution and the rule of law,” Collins said in the statement. “This is the approach I have taken with every judicial nominee who has come before me, some of whom I have supported and some of whom I have voted against.”
“Should the President send the Senate a nominee, I will give that individual my full attention as I have always done,” Collins said.
Senator Kirk—who is in a tough reelection contest—penned an op-ed for the Chicago Sun-Times, writing: “the right of the president, be it Republican or Democrat, to place before the Senate a nominee for the Supreme Court and I fully expect and look forward to President Barack Obama advancing a nominee for the Senate to consider.”
Conservative Review contributor Brian Darling has shown how Republicans are entirely within their constitutional rights to block President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. (Read part one here; read part two here).
Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee agree that there is a “consensus” that the Senate will not hold hearings on any Obama nominee.
Lindsey Graham says "consensus view" of Judiciary Republicans is no hearings for SCOTUS nominee. Sessions concurs.— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) February 23, 2016
Will Republicans finally keep a promise? Or have Senators Collins and Kirk shown a crack in their resolve?
Time will tell.
Chris Pandolfo is a writer for the CR Wire. He holds a B.A. in Politics and Economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are Conservative Political Philosophy, the American Founding, and Progressive Rock. You can tweet angry pejoratives to him @cpandolfo2128.