Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidObama seeks down-ballot gains after being midterm loser Reid: 'I have set the Senate' for nuclear option Obama in Nevada: 'Heck no' to Trump, Joe Heck MORE (Nev.) is lashing out at Republicans, arguing it would be “rash and reckless” for them to block any Supreme Court nominee put forward by President Obama.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, published Monday night, Reid said doing so would be the “most nakedly partisan” move in history.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellPelosi urges end to Pentagon's clawback of soldier overpayments Coffman’s stance on climate change disingenuous, irresponsible Bill Murray honored with Mark Twain Prize MORE (R-Ky.) vowed last Saturday that Justice Antonin Scalia, whose death on Saturday sent shockwaves through both parties, should not be replaced until Americans pick Obama’s replacement next November.
McConnell and other Republicans are under enormous pressure to not confirm a nominee from Obama who could tilt the court’s balance.
Their statements have triggered a furious counterattack from Democrats.
“If Republicans proceed, they will ensure that this Republican majority is remembered as the most nakedly partisan, obstructionist and irresponsible majority in history,” Reid said.
“All other impressions will be instantly and irretrievably swept away. Pursuing their radical strategy in a quixotic quest to deny the basic fact that the American people elected President Obama — twice — would rank among the most rash and reckless actions in the history of the Senate. And the consequences will reverberate for decades.”
Reid also argued that not helping Obama fill Scalia’s absence on the nation’s highest court rewards the GOP’s most extreme elements.
“My Republican Senate colleagues should know, too, that they will unconditionally surrendering their party to hard-line presidential candidates Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzBreitbart, liberal activist cooperated on GOP primary disruptions: report Juan Williams: When WikiLeaks leaked my cell number 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race MORE (R-Texas) and Donald TrumpDonald TrumpObama reads mean tweet from Trump on ‘Kimmel’ 5 takeaways from the Pa. Senate debate Report: Clinton ordered operative to troll Trump with duck MORE,” he wrote. "Behind closed doors, many of my colleagues complain about the direction their party has taken in recent years.
“But if they cross this Rubicon, they will be as culpable as Sen. Cruz or Trump themselves, having resigned any claim to leadership and enlisting as foot soldiers in a radical effort to obstruct and delegitimize the president at all costs.”
Scalia, 79, died during a hunting vacation in Texas last weekend. The conservative justice’s death sets off a heated battle over his successor during a presidential election cycle.