Sunday, February 14, 2016

Answer: Probably

Question: Can Republicans really block Obama’s Supreme Court nomination for a year?

By Amber Phillips
February 13 at 7:11 PM, WashPost

Come January 2017, Republicans have a chance at controlling the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House.

So it stands to reason that Republicans have very little incentive to even consider President Obama's suggestion for who should replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died Saturday.

There's some historical precedent for them to do just that. A hazy rule dating back decades that congressional experts say is really more of a tradition suggests senators can oppose some of the president's judicial nominations in the months before a presidential election.

It's known as the "Thurmond Rule," for reasons we'll get into, but there is widespread disagreement on what it even means and when it can be invoked.

"It's not a rule," said Russell Wheeler, a judicial expert with the Brookings Institution. "It's just sort of a pie-in-the-sky flexibility that both parties try to disown when it's convenient for them and try to say it means something when it's not."

(More here.)

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