Adding to the growing number of Democratic and liberal voices expressing discontent that Senate Republicans aim to ignore a likely Supreme Court nomination to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blasted such plans Wednesday as “shameful and indefensible.”
Clinton added that Republicans are being openly offensive to U.S. voters.
“The Senate Republicans’ refusal to hold hearings on any nominee by President [Barack] Obama is unprecedented, and it is an offense to the President and to the American people who elected him,” Clinton said. “What’s more, they are hindering the Court from doing its work — leaving it with only eight members for the remainder of this term and into the next. It’s time for the Senate to put statesmanship over partisanship, and live up to our constitutional principles."
The president’s former chief diplomat continued, saying that this sort of behavior is unusual and suggesting that the president is being kept from doing his constitutional duty.
“Some Republicans have even suggested President Obama has no right to nominate anyone, as if somehow he’s not a real President,” she said in a statement. “The Senate has never taken more than 125 days to vote on a Supreme Court nominee, and on average a confirmation or rejection has taken just two months.”
All of the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee announced Tuesday that their committee, which initiates any review of Supreme court nominees, would not even consider any Obama nominee. Republicans themselves pointed to past statements by Vice President Joe Biden when he was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1992. At the time he urged President George H.W. Bush to consider not sending a Supreme Court nomination to the Senate if a vacancy showed up.
Obama, who has expressed similar feelings to that of Clinton, has indicated that he plans on nominating a replacement.