Hispanic lawmakers slam GOP on SCOTUS

Hispanic lawmakers slam GOP on SCOTUS

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) on Tuesday denounced Senate GOP inaction on the vacant Supreme Court seat in the wake of a high-level White House meeting that failed to allay the impasse.

"Republicans' refusal to fulfill their constitutional obligation could cripple our nation's highest court at a critical time for women, immigrants and the right to vote,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraKamala Harris: Trump administration ‘targeting’ California for political purposes Trump administration ends talks with California over car emissions rule California has sued the Trump administration 46 times. Here are the lawsuits MORE (Calif.) said.

The court is set to hear cases on immigration, affirmative action and voting rights, making any court vacancy especially important to Hispanic leaders and representatives of Hispanic-heavy districts.

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Tuesday's meeting with President Obama and Vice President Biden included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Poll: 33% of Kentucky voters approve of McConnell Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump MORE (R-Ky.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Drug pricing fight centers on insulin MORE (R-Iowa), neither of who has indicated any willingness to bend on a hearing or vote for an Obama nominee.

McConnell said Tuesday before the meeting, "We will reiterate that the American people will have a voice in the vacancy on the Supreme Court as they choose the next president," doubling down on his strategy to defer consideration until the next administration.

CHC Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez (D-Calif.) said, "Republican obstructionism knows no limits. They claim to love the Constitution and then stand in the way of upholding it."

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid says he won’t make 2020 endorsement until after Nevada caucus Sanders hires veteran progressive operative to manage 2020 bid Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency MORE (D-Nev.) and Judiciary ranking member Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyBooker wins 2020 endorsement of every New Jersey Democrat in Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? Leahy endorses Sanders for president MORE (D-Vt.) were also present at the meeting. Reid described the meeting as brief and said McConnell and Grassley refused to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy. “They were adamant. They said, ‘No, we’re not going to do this at all.’”

The standoff started immediately after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a prominent conservative voice, was announced. McConnell quickly issued a statement declaring his intention to essentially ignore the nomination process until the next president was in office.

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezActing Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange William Barr is right man for the times This week: Trump delivers State of the Union amid wall fight MORE (D-N.J.) said Tuesday that the Senate should "do its job and fulfill its constitutional duty and consider the nominee by holding a hearing in the Judiciary Committee, move to a transparent debate and vote on confirming the nominee."

The CHC has previously played a role in filling Supreme Court vacancies, providing staunch support for the confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor in 2009.