Judiciary Dems: Hold SCOTUS hearing
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Senate Democrats are hitting back in an escalating battle over the Supreme Court, pressuring Republicans to rethink their opposition to taking up a nominee from President Obama.  

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest Grassley'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat Cruz warns GOP support for expanded background checks could help elect Warren president Lawmakers applaud Trump's ban on flavored e-cigarettes MORE (R-Iowa), the committee chairman, calling the decision to skip a hearing and vote an "unprecedented and drastic departure" from Senate precedent. 
 
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"The fact is your decision will harm our constitutional democracy and undermine the Supreme Court’s ability to be our Nation’s final arbiter of the law," they wrote. "You should reconsider your position, so the Senate and this committee can do the job the American people elected us to do."
 
The lawmakers sent the letter, which was also addressed to GOP members of the committee, after Republican senators on Tuesday said anyone the president nominates to succeed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia won't receive a hearing. 
 
Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellO'Rourke responds to Buttigieg's gun criticism: 'That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place' Cicilline on Trump investigations versus legislation: 'We have to do both' The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday the committee "has unanimously recommended to me that there be no hearings" after Judiciary Committee Republicans huddled in his office and sent him a letter formally announcing the decision. 
 
But the Democratic senators wrote that despite what McConnell said, the Judiciary Committee "did not unanimously recommend anything today."
 
"Today’s announcement by Republican Committee members is nothing but a partisan attempt to avoid fulfilling your duty to consider the next Supreme Court nominee," they added. "History will not look kindly on this decision, nor will the American people."
 
 
Democrats have pounced on the Republicans' decision, suggesting that they are playing politics with the Supreme Court. Republicans fire back that voters should be allowed to weigh in on who replaces Scalia by selecting the next president.
  
Leahy, as well as Democratic Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrump court pick sparks frustration for refusing to answer questions This week: Congress returns for first time since mass shootings GOP senators object to White House delaying home-state projects for border wall MORE (Calif.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court Senate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies MORE (R.I.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate Klobuchar: Investigation into Kavanaugh 'a sham' Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (Minn.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPoliticon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Scarlett Johansson defends Woody Allen: 'I believe him' Trump mocks Gillibrand after exit: 'She was the one I was really afraid of!' MORE (Minn.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew Coons The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Democratic senator warns O'Rourke AR-15 pledge could haunt party for years Scalise says it's unclear if bipartisan deal on guns will happen MORE (Del.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) signed the letter.