Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt 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.
“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 McConnellFixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not 'rehash' 2020 Hoyer: Democrats 'committed' to Oct. 31 timeline for Biden's agenda 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 CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE (R-Texas) and Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations 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.