Cruz, Rubio, and Other Conservatives Want to Stop Obama From Replacing Scalia

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenmasker/4668514068/in/photolist-87xmzS-dBjh5q-dBdPB6-vbMQuK-a2R5NT-pwoRPY-a7Ttts-btfutY-dNwpCW-rbUh3s-bJQh7v-CRqRcX-btygP7-4CP9aB-5U8K39-aQTFMx-aQTFUc-ufs55r-mGVVP2-5os4MP-ee46HZ-BAmMHQ-nSLYEf-ntW7du">Stephen Masker</a>/Flickr

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead on Saturday, leaving a vacancy on the highest court nine months before Election Day. That should leave President Barack Obama plenty of time to find a qualified replacement to succeed Scalia. But within minutes of the announcement that Scalia had died, prominent conservatives began demanding that no new justice be confirmed until after Obama’s presidency ends next year. In essence, they want the Republican-controlled Senate to block any nomination that Obama might send it. And leading this charge was Sen. Ted Cruz, a GOP presidential candidate. In a tweet, Cruz declared, “Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement.” Soon after that, Sen. Marco Rubio, another presidential wannabe, said the same.

This is a quickly spreading right-wing meme. Here are other conservatives demanding government obstruction to deny Obama the chance to fulfill his constitutional duty:

Look forward to this issue—when to fill Scalia’s slot and who should appoint his successor—becoming a major fight in the presidential campaign.

Meanwhile, Sen. Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the judiciary committee, issued this statement: “I hope that no one will use this sad news to suggest POTUS should not perform its [sic] constitutional duty.” He was a little late with that.

Update: Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has weighed in too:

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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