Senate

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 Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee chairman, calling the decision to skip a hearing and vote an “unprecedented and drastic departure” from Senate precedent. 
 
{mosads}”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 McConnell (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.”
 
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, separately, that “11 GOP senators in a back room” shouldn’t decide if Americans can have a “full-strength” Supreme Court. 
 
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 Feinstein (Calif.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Al Franken (Minn.), Chris Coons (Del.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) signed the letter. 
Tags Al Franken Amy Klobuchar Barack Obama Chris Coons Chuck Grassley Chuck Grassley Dianne Feinstein Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell Patrick Leahy Patrick Leahy Richard Blumenthal Sheldon Whitehouse Supreme Court

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