The Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday signed a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declaring that they will not hold hearings for President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, according to a statement from committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
In the letter, the Republican senators noted that they have the power to “withhold” consent of a president’s nominee. They wrote that they want to “ensure the American people are not deprived of the opportunity to engage in a full and robust debate over the type of jurist they wish to decide some of the most critical issues of our time.”
“Accordingly, given the particular circumstances under which this vacancy arises, we wish to inform you of our intention to exercise our constitutional authority to withhold consent on any nominee to the Supreme Court submitted by this President to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy,” the letter reads. “Because our decision is based on constitutional principle and born of a necessity to protest the will of the American people, this Committee will not hold hearings on any Supreme Court nominee until after our next President is sworn in on January 20, 2017.”
Following a closed door meeting with McConnell on Tuesday, Senate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee said that they will not consider Obama’s nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.