With Republicans in the Senate saying they wouldn’t even hold hearings on a U.S. Supreme Court nominee this year, a rising number of Democrats in the House of Representatives say racism is involved in the GOP’s fight to stop a nominee from President Barack Obama, the Hill reported Thursday. Some Democrats have said Obama has been the target of some members of the GOP because of his race, citing false assertions he is a Muslim.
“[Some conservatives] have pretended to have policy differences, but for many, their true motives come from racism, fear and sometimes hatred,” Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., and former head of the Asian-Pacific American Caucus, told the Hill. “Now, even as they try to cover themselves with false logic, these same voices use the pretext of a Supreme Court nomination to say President Obama isn’t a ‘real’ president, that he doesn’t have the same powers and responsibilities as white presidents before him.”
The Democratic lawmakers join a chorus of a growing number of politicians who have said race is at play in Obama’s Supreme Court fight, including presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who said in part, “What you are seeing today in this Supreme Court situation is nothing more than the continuous and unprecedented obstructionism that President Obama has gone through,” the New York Post reported. Sanders rival former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also said earlier this month racism was behind the GOP’s efforts to block Obama’s attempts to fill the seat left open by the death earlier this month of Justice Antonin Scalia.
“President Obama is president until Jan. 20 of 2017. And he has not only the right but the obligation to put forth a name. And the Senate has an obligation to take up the nomination,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., head of the Congressional Black Caucus, told the Hill.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., shared a similar sentiment. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Obama has been discriminated against, and Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., said Obama has been treated “uncivilly,” at least in part because of his race.
— @THISHOUR (@ThisHour) February 24, 2016
Obama’s hope to have a Supreme Court justice confirmed have not been dashed, however. The Washington Post reported Wednesday the White House was considering Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a former federal judge with a history of centrist opinions, as Scalia's replacement.