In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Donald Trump said just hours after news broke that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died that the Senate should "delay, delay, delay" the confirmation of Obama's nominee to replace him on the court. Now, Democrats are saying that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is following the Republican presidential frontrunner's lead when it comes to blocking Obama's pick.

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Updated at 2:33 p.m. ET

Key Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee emerged from a closed door meeting in Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office Tuesday united in their determination not to consider any nominee to replace Antonin Scalia until the next president takes office.

Tuesday was the first full day the Senate was back in session since Scalia's death Feb. 13.

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Republicans keep calling their refusal to even consider President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court in an election year a “tradition.” But it is really just the opposite.

The current situation is unprecedented, and not just by virtue of the level of the obstruction Senate Republicans are proposing. It is a happenstance of history but in the modern era, a Supreme Court seat has almost never come open in an election year while the Senate is controlled by the opposite party of the president.

(The one time it did happen, in 1956, President Eisenhower recess-nominated a Democrat, William Brennan.)

While the Senate has the raw power to simply refuse to consider a Supreme Court nominee, the chance to do so in the final year of an opposing president's term has simply not come up.

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Can anyone catch him now?

Donald Trump is projected to win the South Carolina primary Saturday night, his second statewide win this month and a troubling sign for Republican leaders who originally hoped Trumpmentum would be a passing fad.

As the Republican primary remains crowded, with Govs. Jeb Bush and John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio continuing to battle it out to win the establishment money and electoral support, Trump has consistently broken out among an electorate hungry for a "say-it-like-it-is" Washington outsider.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders in Saturday’s Nevada caucus Saturday, a crucial win for the former first lady as she seeks to prove that she has a broader appeal in diverse electorates than the democratic socialist from Vermont.

“Americans are right to be angry, but we are also hungry for real solutions," Clinton said Saturday night during her victory speech.

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If any Republican senator is thinking about defecting from the GOP’s tough line on blocking a Supreme Court nomination until next year, then let them be warned. Outside conservative groups are preparing to go to war over who should get to pick a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died unexpectedly over the weekend, and they don’t want to see even a hearing considering the nominee President Obama has vowed to put forward.

“The strategy that makes the most sense is to say that there should not be any consideration of this nominee,” Curt Levey, executive director of the FreedomWorks Foundation, said in an interview with TPM. "It would be irrelevant to have a hearing because it’s the situation: the fact that it’s an election year, the fact that his policies are before the court, the fact that the court is so finely balanced at the moment.”

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