The White House is keeping up the pressure on Republicans by telling reporters that President Obama won’t use a recess appointment to appoint a new Supreme Court justice this week.
Reuters White House Correspondent Jeff Mason tweeted:
Obama will not push through a Supreme Court appointment this week, will wait to nominate until Senate is in session -White House official
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) February 14, 2016
Mason’s report confirms that President Obama intends to stick to his plan attempting to go through the nominating process. The President said on Saturday, “I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities in due time. There will plenty of time for me to do so, and for the Senate to fulfill it’s responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.”
In due time is not this week, but the White House echoed comments made by Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Patrick Leahy on the possibility of a recess appointment.
On Sunday, Sen. Leahy said, “Well, I don’t even think — I don’t even think we’re there. I think what we ought to do is nominate somebody. If the Republican leadership refuses to even hold a hearing, I think that is going to guarantee they lose control of the Senate, because I don’t think the American people will stand for that. They want us to do our job. They can see us doing recess after recess, time off all year long. Tell us to come back, cancel one of those recesses, come back and have the hearing and have a vote. That’s what the American people expect the Senate to do.”
In other words, Republicans have already badly bungled their response to the vacancy on the Supreme Court that was caused by Scalia’s death, so Democrats are in no rush to bail them out with a quick recess appointment.
President Obama and the Democrats aren’t going to let Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the Senate Republicans off of the hook so easily. The White House didn’t rule anything out beyond this week, which means that the possibility of a recess appointment remains on the table’