Washington Post – The death of Justice Antonin Scalia Saturday plunged the Supreme Court and the nation’s politics into turmoil, and an immediate partisan battle began over whether President Obama should be allowed to nominate his successor.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said in a statement that the Senate should not confirm a replacement for Scalia until after the election. But the battle lines were immediately apparent. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid followed McConnell’s statement with one of his own: “It would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat,” he said. “Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential Constitutional responsibilities.”
In the meantime, 4-4 splits are returned to the lower court as if the Supreme Court had not taken up the case.
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