House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Tuesday afternoon that the Congress has “every right” not to confirm a Supreme Court nominee put forth by President Barack Obama.
The #SupremeCourt is not an extension of the White House. Congress, as an equal branch, has every right NOT to confirm someone.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 16, 2016
Ryan tweeted that sentiment and elaborated further in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“We are knee deep into a presidential election and I think the precedent for not filling a Supreme Court vacancy in such a time is justified,” Ryan told the newspaper.
Since the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday, many congressional Republicans either have argued that Obama doesn’t have the right to nominate a replacement justice, or that Obama is a lame-duck President who should hand-off the nomination to whomever wins in November.
“The president has tried everything he can to empower the executive branch at the expense of the legislative one,” Ryan continued. “His Supreme Court nominees have all contributed to that, those that he has placed on the bench already. So not only does Congress have the authority to stop a nominee, it has an obligation to defend itself against a president and a radically altered court that would continue to seize its powers.”