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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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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