"There's absolutely no good reason to wait until the lame duck for the Senate to fulfill their duty to the constitution and to the American people. The President has put forward a nominee just today that is eminently qualified. HIs credentials are unquestioned," Earnest said during his daily media briefing. "Stalling his nomination and preventing him from serving on the Supreme Court at the beginning of the next term would be obstruction on a scale that is unprecedented in the last 40 years or so."
Obama announced Wednesday morning from the White House's Rose Garden that he was nominating Judge Merrick Garland and called for a "fair" process that would allow the D.C. circuit court judge an interview and a vote in the Senate.
"Nobody is suggesting that politics should be fully extracted from it. What we're suggesting is that politics should not prevent the basic institutional functioning of the United States Senate," Earnest continued. "And the consequences are significant. Having the process break down would be an unprecedented injection of partisan politics into the Supreme Court."