When Scalia died, Obama had 342 days left in office.
Obama has said he will nominate a replacement for Scalia fairly soon.
If, as promised, President Obama nominates a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the U.S. Senate should hold hearings and then vote on whether to consent to the appointment.
Several other names have been mentioned by legal experts as possibilities, including the country's current top law enforcement official, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and several other appellate court judges.
After all, the Strom Thurmond Rule that is the basis for MConnell's argument to delay is something he was categorically opposed to when it was being used to block Republican nominations during the George W. Bush years.
"It does not say 'except in election years', which is precisely why a Democratically controlled Senate confirmed President Reagan's nomination of Justice [Anthony] Kennedy to the court by a vote of 97-0 in 1988, which, of course, was also an election year and the last year of Mr. Reagan's presidency", he said.
The Supreme Court said the drapery dates back to the death of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase in 1873 and has been continued for the death of each sitting justice since then.
Amy Howe, the editor of SCOTUSBlog, a comprehensive Supreme Court news site, said there are no instances since at least 1900 of the Senate refusing to confirm a nominee in an election year because of the impending election. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president", McConnell said in a statement Saturday.
Obama could try to force a nominee through the Senate this year.
Scalia, a conservative justice who served on the court for 30 years, was found dead of natural causes Saturday morning at a West Texas ranch.
Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid said failure by the Senate to act would be a "shameful abdication" of the chamber's constitutional responsibilities.
Q: Who nominates justices to the Supreme Court?
Such hyperbole ignores a basic truth: Cruz and his Senate colleagues can vote against any nominee Obama brings forth."'You know what? The Senate is advising right now, ' he said on NBC's 'Meet the Press.' 'We're advising that a lame-duck president in an election year is not going to be able to tip the balance of the Supreme Court, that we're going to have an election.'"
"You know what? The Senate is advising right now", he said on NBC's 'Meet the Press'. "We're advising that a lame-duck president in an election year is not going to be able to tip the balance of the Supreme Court, that we're going to have an election".
Because actually, it's not just for the Supreme Court, even for the appellate court, it's been both parties have followed this precedent.
"The Constitution does not include exemptions for election years or for the president's last term in office". Plus, voters elected each of the 100 senators who would have the opportunity to vet the president's nominee and vote for or against his or her confirmation.