Reid warns GOP it will rue blocking Obama on court
© Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems search for winning playbook Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response The Memo: Immigration battle tests activists’ muscle 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.

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“If my Republican colleagues proceed down this reckless path, they should know that this act alone will define their time in the majority,” he wrote. “Thinking otherwise is fantasy."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit 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 CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWith religious liberty memo, Trump made America free to be faithful again Interstate compacts aren't the right way to fix occupational licensing laws Texas Dem: ‘I don’t know what to believe’ about what Trump wants for wall MORE (R-Texas) and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti 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.