Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who recently dropped out of the Republican presidential race, on Monday argued that President Obama has a “conflict of interest” in nominating someone to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away over the weekend.
Paul suggested to Kentucky radio host Leland Conway that because there are cases challenging policies of the Obama administration, including lawsuits targeting his clean power plan and executive actions on immigration, the President should not be able to choose a nominee.
The senator said that the Supreme Court reviews cases that are “trying to figure out who has the power to do what.”
“The president has said he has the power basically to create immigration law out of nothing,” Paul said. “He says he has the power to basically cripple entire industries like coal without ever having been given that power by Congress. So see, we have a Constitutional debate on whose powers — the president or Congress? And I think the president sort of has a conflict of interest here in appointing somebody while we’re trying to decide whether or not he’s already usurped power.”
“It’s going to be very, very, very difficult to get me to vote for a presidential nomination from this president,” he continued. “I will look at it if it comes down, but my threshold for voting for somebody is going to be very, very high.”
Paul noted that Obama does have a right to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court, but added that “it is very unlikely that he’s going to find a nominee that I think isn’t going to be devastating to” Kentucky.