At the start of last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan boasted that his Republican dominated chamber had zero plans to consider President Obama's final budget, breaking with 80 years of tradition to deny the nation's budget director an opportunity to even present the budget before Congress. By the end of the week, Ryan's Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was also boasting that Senate Republicans planned to refuse President Obama his constitutional obligation to nominate a Supreme Court justice moments after news of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia's death broke.
Far from the promises to obstruct President Obama behind closed doors that stained the nation's first African-American president's inauguration day, Republicans are now openly pledging to drag out their obstruction to his last day in office. But now that the GOP's temper tantrum may result in a potentially months-long vacancy on the highest court of the land, Democrats and President Obama are vowing to finally fight back.
"Senator McConnell is right that the American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice," Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote on Facebook after McConnell argued that “it would be undemocratic to seat an Obama nominee in the president’s last year.”
"In fact, they did," Warren reminded McConnell, "when President Obama won the 2012 election by five million votes."
Warren also reminded her Republican colleagues about that pesky Constitution they sometimes carry around in their front pockets. "Article II Section 2 of the Constitution says the President of the United States nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate."
"I can't find a clause that says '...except when there's a year left in the term of a Democratic President'":