The official Republican response to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely death appears to be an agreement that they will unilaterally railroad any Obama nominees on the logic it would be unfair for the sitting president to choose a replacement.
Scalia, who reportedly died of natural causes on a hunting trip in Texas Saturday, leaves behind a Supreme Court seat that, if filled by the Democrats, would swing the court.
That potential shift has prominent Republicans indicating they’ll block any potential justices Obama may nominate over the next year.
“What is less than zero? The chances of Obama successfully appointing a Supreme Court Justice to replace Scalia? If anything this will put a full stop to all Obama judicial nominees going forward,” tweeted Conn Carroll, a spokesman for Judiciary Committee member Sen. Mike Lee.
And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said Saturday that a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia should not be selected until after the 2016 election by asserting that President Obama no longer represents the American people.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President,” McConnell said in a statement.
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio also released statements arguing that the next president—one of them perhaps?—should have the honor of filling the open seat.
Refreshingly, Donald Trump has thus far kept his opinion on a replacement to himself, commenting only on Scalia’s passing.