The Senate’s refusal to vote on President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court is unnecessary and in poor taste.
Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court was intended to be a form of compromise for the Republican Senate; despite this, no action will likely be taken on his nomination.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY all but confirmed this stance by refusing to receive Garland on Capitol Hill and by declaring the Senate will not vote on the nomination until after the November election.
The defense for refusing to act on Garland’s nomination is to allow the public to vote in the upcoming presidential election and decide for itself, thereby making the Supreme Court nomination an election issue, and conveniently buying the Republican Senate time.
Yet, the stall tactics will likely backfire. Donald Trump seems likely to receive the Republican nomination for President if the convention is not contested (which is uncertain right now). However, even if he gets the nomination, a Republican victory in November with Trump as the nominee seems very difficult given the nature of his speeches, campaign and ‘policies’.
If a Democrat wins in 2016, whether it is Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, Republicans will find themselves in a difficult position of having to either quickly vote on Garland before the January inauguration or suffer the consequences of battling against a much more liberal nominee and thus delaying the appointment over a year. Neither decision seems to be in the best interest of the Republican Party.
Thus the decision to prolong the appointment process to delay a lame duck president in hopes of winning big in November is foolish. The chances of winning in November may exist, but banking on November with a candidate that will most likely alienate a significant portion of the population makes these chances slimmer.
Voting on the nominee for the Supreme Court is the Senate’s job, despite who is the president in office. Congress should do its job and act on the nomination.