U.S. Senate leaders from both sides of the political aisle are defending their comments about whether or not the Senate should consider President Barack Obama's nominee for the vacancy left on the Supreme Court during an election year.
Following conservative Justice Antonin Scalia's untimely death on Feb. 13, the Senate has grown increasingly partisan as Republicans and Democrats stand firm in their opinions regarding whether Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland should even be considered. While Republicans have argued that the next president chosen by the American people should have the opportunity to nominate a judge for the vacancy, the Democrats continue to argue that the people already made their voices known when they reelected Obama.
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: US President Barack Obama (L), nominates Judge Merrick B. Garland (R), to the US Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. Garland currently serves as the chief judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and if confirmed by the US Senate, would replace Antonin Scalia who died suddenly last month. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed out that many Democrats previously believed a high court vacancy should not be filled ahead of an election, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) called out the Republican senators for flip-flopping on the issue, as well.
"This nomination ought to be considered by the next president," McConnell said on "Fox News Sunday" as he reaffirmed his stance that Garland should not be considered by the Senate before the election.
McConnell also added on CNN's "State of the Union" that Republican senators will not consider Garland's nomination even if democratic candidates Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders win the presidential election instead of a Republican candidate, Politico reported.
"I can't imagine that a Republican majority Congress in a lame-duck session, after the American people have spoken, would want to confirm a nominee opposed by the NRA, the NFIB, and The New York Times says would move the court dramatically to the left," McConnell said.
Meanwhile, Reid defended his statement from 2005 in which he claimed that the Senate does not have a constitutional duty to give presidential nominees a vote, Politico reported, although Reid added on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the Senate has at the very least held hearings and votes on Republican Supreme Court nominees.
"I don't know why McConnell has done this to his senators. He's marching these men, women over a cliff," Reid said during the interview, adding that the GOP will lose Senate seats over their refusal to consider Garland.
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