Some analysts have pointed out that it’d be risky for Republicans to preemptively block anyone President Obama nominates to succeed Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, but that approach wouldn’t necessarily end when Obama leaves office. Washington Monthly blogger Martin Longman believes that if in 2017 a Democrat becomes president but GOPers retain sufficient power in the Senate, they’ll just keep quashing SCOTUS nominations for the duration.
“The approximate time when they’ll be reconciled to replacing their Lord & Savior with an Obama or Clinton or Sanders nominee is never,” wrote Longman in a Monday post. “This is particularly true for the anti-choice crusaders, because their mission to overturn Roe has come so close to fruition that they could anticipate the taste of victory in their mouths.” For the next eleven months, Longman sneered, Republicans simply “don’t want the president’s Kenyan paws on Scalia’s high seat.”
From Longman’s post (bolding added):
I suspect…they’d be willing to block a replacement to Scalia’s post for longer than a year. The approximate time when they’ll be reconciled to replacing their Lord & Savior with an Obama or Clinton or Sanders nominee is never.
This is particularly true for the anti-choice crusaders, because their mission to overturn Roe has come so close to fruition that they could anticipate the taste of victory in their mouths…All they needed was to elect a Republican president and replace [Anthony] Kennedy and their life’s work would have been complete.
Then Scalia went and died on them.
But they’re not about to give up the dream. Not for shame. Not to protect a small handful of vulnerable incumbents…
…I tried to come up with at least a theory of how their obstruction might be defeated…
My first sad effort included President Obama picking someone of such advanced old age that they’d be actuarily unlikely to serve on the Court for very long. My second desperate stab involved picking a sitting U.S. Senator. Maybe he could do both at the same time.
But, truthfully, the Republicans don’t want the president’s Kenyan paws on Scalia’s high seat and they’re not going to give in just because the nominee is 75 years old already. The only hope is that Obama picks a senator and a sufficient number of the club members don’t have the stomach to create a precedent that punishes only them and their job prospects.
I came up with Patrick Leahy as someone with the age and credentials and clubbiness to meet the compromise criteria, but he’s on the record mocking conservative legal ideas, including on subjects that are sitting before the Court as we speak.
No, I can’t find a way.
They will never vote to end their dream.
Even defeat in November may not sway them.