Ohio Senators Weigh In on SCOTUS Nomination Process

Senator Sherrod Brown at Hillary Clinton campaign event [photo: Annie Wu / ideastream ]
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Just as Antonin Scalia’s sudden death this past weekend does open up a seat on the nine-member bench where justices are appointed for lifetime positions, US Senator Sherrod Brown of Cleveland would be one of the people who gets a say in whether to approve a presidential nominee for the Supreme Court.  But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – a Republican – said he wants to postpone the nomination until after the November election.  Senator Brown – a Democrat – says McConnell isn’t doing his job. 

"What they are fundamentally saying – Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio – what they are fundamentally saying is Barack Obama was elected for a 3 year term." Brown said.  "The voters clearly spoke.  They re-elected Obama by a pretty wide margin in ’12. And he’s the president.  He should nominate somebody. The senate should consider – not necessarily vote for him but at least consider."

Meanwhile, US Senator Rob Portman joined fellow Republicans who say a new member of the US Supreme Court should not be chosen until after the presidential election.  Portman says it’s common for the Senate not to act on lifetime appointments during the final year of a presidential term.  He says he’d judge any nominee, though, on merit.  Both Democrats campaigning for Portman’s seat accused him of disregarding the Constitution.  Former Governor Ted Strickland says Portman prioritizes politics over public service.  Cincinnati councilman PG Sittenfeld says it would be irresponsible if Obama didn’t make a nomination and the senate didn’t act on it.

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