If he is successful, this will be the THIRD judge Obama appoints. How many times has that happened to a president?
President Barack Obama is maintaining pressure on the Senate to approve his Supreme Court nominee, but the need for Republican U.S. senators seeking re-election to keep conservative voters happy before primary elections in the coming months is working against him.
From April 26 to Sept. 13, nine states where incumbent Republicans’ grip on U.S. Senate seats is tenuous will hold party primaries ahead of the Nov. 8 congressional and presidential elections.
During that period, Republicans seem unlikely to break with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hard-line stance against holding confirmation hearings or a vote on Obama’s nominee, appellate judge Merrick Garland.
McConnell has insisted that Obama’s successor, to be elected in November and take office in January, should fill the vacancy left by February’s death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Republicans are hoping their party’s candidate wins the presidency and can make the appointment.
A Supreme Court appointment requires Senate confirmation.
Voicing support for holding Garland hearings during the primary season, political experts say, could enrage conservatives already upset over the prospect of Obama making a third lifetime appointment to the nine-member court, which could give the bench a liberal tilt for the first time in decades.
That anger could bolster primary candidates challenging incumbent Republicans from the right or encourage new challengers to come forward.