Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are holding firm on their commitment to block the nomination of anyone President Obama nominates to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.
Although Democrats are decrying the decision to stall any vote until after November's presidential election, the aggressive blocking of SCOTUS nominees is not a recent invention. In fact, for years Democrats have worked to stymie Republican judicial nominees including, most recently, those of President George W. Bush.
In 2006, then Senator Barack Obama himself supported a Democratic-led filibuster of nominee Samuel Alito. During Alito's 2006 nomination proceedings, Senator Obama took to the floor of the Senate and stated:
There are some who believe that the president, having won the election, should have complete authority to appoint his nominee…that once you get beyond intellect and personal character, there should be no further question as to whether the judge should be confirmed. I disagree with this view.
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, President Obama might be regretting his attempt blocking Justice Alito.
At a press conference yesterday, President Obama was asked about the Republican plans to block his nominees and the idea that his indignation is undercut by his participation in the 2006 filibuster.
"Look, I think what’s fair to say is that how judicial nominations have evolved over time is not historically the fault of any single party," Obama answered. "This has become just one more extension of politics. And there are times where folks are in the Senate, and they’re thinking as I just described primarily about, ‘Is this gonna cause me problems in a primary? Is gonna cause me problems with supporters of mine?’ So people take strategic positions, and I understand that."
Hey, at least he's willing to admit that Democrats are in part responsible for the current climate surrounding Supreme Court nominees.