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 BecerraIndustry wins big in methane rules rollback Overnight Energy: Watchdog to investigate EPA over Hurricane Harvey | Panel asks GAO to expand probe into sexual harassment in science | States sue over methane rules rollback Some states back plaintiff suing DHS over Haitians' protected status 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 McConnellKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump hints at new executive action on immigration, wants filibuster-proof Senate majority The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE (R-Ky.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyFord lawyer proposes testifying next Thursday Yale Law School dean responds to reports that Kavanaugh hired women with 'certain look' Kavanaugh tells Senate panel: I want a hearing to 'clear my name' 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 ReidKavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Dems can’t ‘Bork’ Kavanaugh, and have only themselves to blame Dem senator: Confidential documents would 'strongly bolster' argument against Kavanaugh's nomination MORE (D-Nev.) and Judiciary ranking member Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDem senator praises Ford opening the door to testifying Ford opens door to testifying next week Senate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh 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) MenendezDems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints Dem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press Booming economy has Trump taking a well-deserved victory lap 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.