A Christian legal firm specializing in constitutional law and religious freedom reports it is a good sign that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have made it clear that there will be no hearing for any United States Supreme Court nominee put forth by President Barack Obama.
After a closed-door meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced that there would be "no hearing, no vote."
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said GOP members of the panel "believe the American people need to decide," contending that they will make the selection — rather than a lame-duck president.
American Center for Law and Justice Executive Director Jordan Sekulow explains that this new announcement is reassuring, giving a good indication that Obama will not succeed in his plan to replace the deceased U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with a liberal successor.
"This is a good sign to see that Senate Republicans have agreed to come out with a unified message, at least the Judiciary Committee level — which is where these nominations begin — that they are not going to hold hearings,” Sekulow insisted. “And this will be a big blow to President Obama."
The legal expert says the American people who support the premise — that the vacancy should be filled by the next president — need to provide backbone to the Senators who are going to face intense pressure from Democrats.
"We haven't had someone announced,” Sekulow continued. “They haven't tried to make it real personal yet. That will occur, and they will try to make it look like the big bad Republicans are trying to stop President Obama's nominee."
Sekulow says the Senate Republicans are within their constitutional authority to ensure that the next president — Republican or Democrat — should be the person who ultimately fills the vacancy on the Supreme Court.
American Values President Gary Bauer argues that Republicans must not allow the Senate to take a recess while Obama finishes up his second term in office (see OneNewsNow story, “Bauer: ‘No recess’ for Senate”).
Added weight on election
A member of the Senate Leadership is now weighing in on how the Supreme Court vacancy could affect the November elections.
The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker, addressed concerns about how the Supreme Court vacancy could affect the chances for Republicans in November. He stresses that elections have certain ramifications.
"We are very comfortable letting the American people speak on this issue,” the conservative politician from the South announced during a recent news conference in Washington, D.C. “And the election this November will have consequences as to the type of Senate we have, and as to our being disposed to confirm nominees in the vein of Justice Scalia … or if the American people — if they so choose — could choose a Senate that will be delighted to have overly liberal and expansionist justices."
Wicker says that if the situation was reversed, Democrats would be doing the same thing.
"The vice president said as much in 1992,” the chairman added. “The future Democratic leader said as much in 1997. And clearly that would have been the attitude of Senator Reid, also.”
The conservative from the Magnolia State maintains that the Republicans need to stay their course, as he looks for consistency in how both political parties deal with the issue.
“So I think we've got work to do,” Wicker concluded. “If the president sends us a nominee, I think that it will be disposed of — as the vice president would have disposed of if that nominee had he been in the leadership … had Senator Schumer been in the leadership."
Wicker also contends that the Senate needs to diligently move forward with the many other legislative matters to which it has to attend this year.