Shaheen to GOP Senators: Do Your Jobs, Consider Obama's SCOTUS Nominee

Feb 25, 2016

Jeanne Shaheen
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is calling on her Republican colleagues to do their jobs and hold confirmation hearings for President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Obama says he'll put forth a nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of justice Antonin Scalia, despite a pledge by GOP leadership to refuse to consider any nominee.

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Shaheen, a Democrat, says that would break from the Senate’s long tradition of giving fair consideration to Supreme Court nominees.

“Our oath doesn’t say uphold the constitution most of the time, or only when it’s not a presidential election year, or only when it’s convenient for us, or only when we like ideology that’s being presented to us,” Shaheen said. “Our oath says uphold and defend the constitution.”

Senator Kelly Ayotte is among the Republicans saying they’ll refuse to even meet with Obama’s nominee, arguing the decision should be left for the next president.

Shaheen says leaving the vacancy open will mean many important cases set to go before the court this year will be decided without a full roster of justices.