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Most Senate Republicans Oppose Obama's Plan to Pick SCOTUS Nominee

Image: Most Senate Republicans Oppose Obama's Plan to Pick SCOTUS Nominee
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Feb 2016 03:03 PM

More than half of GOP lawmakers in the Senate oppose President Barack Obama's plan to submit a nominee to succeed the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — but the rest appear to be on the fence, a tally by The New York Times shows.

In a chart delineating whether senators agree with the president, oppose his plan or are silent or "ambiguous" on the issue, the Times reports all 54 Democratic senators say they back Obama's intent to submit a nominee.

On the other side of the aisle, however, 29 of 54 GOP senators say Obama shouldn't nominate a successor, while 25 lawmakers either "have not replied to us or replied ambiguously," the Times reports.

The Times posted some of the responses, culling from lawmakers' statements to the media, or posted via social media.

"I believe the Senate should not move forward with the confirmation process until the American people have spoken by electing a new president," New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte said in a news release, while Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander emailed a response calling a block of the president's plan "reasonable to give the American people a voice by allowing the next president to fill this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court...."

But among the Republicans not firmly opposed is Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who Politico has reported, said only that nominees "warrant in-depth consideration given the importance of their constitutional role and their lifetime tenure, our role in the Senate is to evaluate the nominee's temperament, intellect, experience, integrity, and respect for the Constitution and the rule of law."

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, in a radio interview, is warning Republicans that "I think we fall into the trap if just simply say sight unseen, we fall into the trap of being obstructionists," while Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk emailed the Times that "the political debate erupting about prospective nominees to fill the vacancy is unseemly," urging lawmakers to "take the time to honor his life before the inevitable debate erupts."

Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, also is urging lawmakers to "take it a step at a time, "saying he'll wait unto Obama names his pick before deciding whether to hold confirmation hearings."

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More than half of GOP lawmakers in the Senate oppose President Barack Obama's plan to submit a nominee to succeed the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia - but the rest appear to be on the fence, a tally by The New York Times shows.
Senate, Republicans, Oppose, Obama, SCOTUS, Nominee
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2016-03-17
Wednesday, 17 Feb 2016 03:03 PM
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