Petition for hearings on Scalia's successor gains 170,000 signatures

Petition for hearings on Scalia's successor gains 170,000 signatures
© Getty Images

An online petition demanding that Senate Republicans hold hearings and allow an up-or-down vote on President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court has gained over 170,000 signatures.

Credo Action, which refers to itself as a social change organization, posted the petition less than 24 hours after news of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death broke on Saturday and Republicans started pledging to block any Obama nominee.

Hours after Scalia’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump faces enormous test with healthcare bill More than 300 abuse victim support groups oppose GOP healthcare bill Dem lawmaker: GOP healthcare battle is like the Titantic MORE (R-Ky.) said the next president should choose Scalia's successor, a position that was later echoed by several others, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOvernight Cybersecurity: New ransomware attack spreads globally | US pharma giant hit | House intel panel interviews Podesta | US, Kenya deepen cyber partnership GOP chairman wants 'robust' tax reform process in the Senate Senate Dems plan floor protest ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (R-Iowa), Sen. John McCainJohn McCainGOP governors could help bring down Senate health bill Lawmakers wary of Trump escalation in Syria Senators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan MORE (R-Ariz.), and Sen. Richard BurrRichard BurrAn unlikely home in DC Senate intel panel to hold hearing on Russian meddling in Europe The Hill's Whip List: GOP undecided, 'no' votes pile up on ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (R-N.C.), who are all up for reelection this year.

Credo Action disagrees.

“President Obama has the constitutional power under Article II to nominate a new Supreme Court justice with the advice and consent of the Senate,” Heidi Hess, the group’s senior campaign manager, said in a statement. “Preemptively challenging that power and promising to undermine it is an unprecedented abdication of constitutional responsibility.”

The group referred to GOP challenges as partisan obstruction that violates their duty to the nation.

“We have to show that the political cost of obstruction will be too high," the petition says. "Tell Senate Republican leadership: You must hold fair hearings and a timely up or down vote for President Obama’s nominee for Justice Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court."