By Ben Kamisar
Clinton: Filibuster of Alito is different from GOP blocking any SCOTUS nominee
Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPoll: Large majority says loser should accept election results Al Smith V: Trump 'crossed the line' at charity roast Al Smith Dinner I attended was different than one I read about MORE on Thursday defended joining the 2006 filibuster of Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination, saying it was not similar to Republican threats to block President Obama from replacing deceased Justice Antonin Scalia.
She said that after the Senate, then controlled by the Republicans, held hearings and put Alito’s nomination to a vote, she and other Democrats, including then-Sen. Obama, had the right to use "the process" in an attempt to block the conservative judge.
"We had a process. The nomination was made, we went through the process. And what the Republicans today are saying is you can't go through with anything, 'we don't want the president to send us a nominee.' And I think that's very different," she said during MSNBC's Democratic presidential town hall.
She argued that the president has an "obligation" to put a nominee forward and the Senate has an obligation to hold hearings on that nominee but that senators are allowed to "use the rules" to oppose that nominee if they disagree with the choice.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellPelosi blasts GOP leaders for silence on Trump Reid: Groping accusations show Trump’s ‘sickness’ GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election MORE (Ky.) asserted just hours after Scalia's death Saturday that the Senate won't confirm an Obama appointee, saying the next president should pick Scalia’s replacement.
The move has drawn the ire of Democrats who want Obama to be able to fill the seat, which would likely shift the ideological balance of the Supreme Court. But Republicans say those Democrats are being hypocritical, pointing to the filibuster against Alito’s nomination.