Following the death of pro-life Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will not take up a vote on a replacement for him until after the next president takes office. However, should a vote take place before then, Senator Ted Cruz promises to filibuster any nominee President Obama puts forward.
Here’s a transcript of Cruz’s remarks:
STEPHANOPOULOS: “— Does that mean — does that mean that you’re going to filibuster anyone — anyone that President Obama nominates?”
CRUZ: “Absolutely. This should be a decision for the people, George. We’ve got an election. And, you know, Democrats — I cannot wait to stand on that stage with Hillary Clinton or with Bernie Sanders and take the case to the people, what vision of the Supreme Court do you want? Let the election decide it. If the Democrats want to replace this nominee, they need to win the election.
“But you know what, I don’t think the American people want a court that will strip our religious liberties. I don’t think the American people want a court that will mandate unlimited abortion on demand, partial birth abortion with taxpayer funding and no parental notification. And I don’t think the American people want a court that will write the Second Amendment out of The Constitution. All of those are 5-4 issues that are hanging in the balance.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Saturday said the Senate would not hold a vote on any President Obama replacement for deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but instead would wait until a new president takes office — setting the stage for a dramatic political showdown in Washington.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President,” McConnell said in a statement.
Democrats will undoubtedly push for the nomination and a confirmation vote for a new left-wing judge.
“The President can and should send the Senate a nominee right away,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said on Twitter. “The Senate has a responsibility to fill vacancies as soon as possible.”
The ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee took a similar line.
“I hope that no one will use this sad news to suggest that the President or the Senate should not perform its constitutional duty,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Saturday. “The American people deserve to have a full functioning Supreme Court.The Supreme Court of the United States is too important to our democracy for it to be understaffed for partisan reasons. It is only February. The President and the Senate should get to work without delay to nominate, consider and confirm the next justice to serve on the Supreme Court.”
Leading pro-life advocates agree the Senate should not vote on Scalia’s replacement until after a new president has been selected.
Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest told LifeNews, “His loss is tragic, and we hope that when it comes time for the Senate to vote on his replacement, that a worthy successor who can pick up his banner can be found after the election.”
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel: “With the passing of Justice Scalia, the future of the High Court and the future of America is hanging in the balance. The Senate must not confirm any nominee to the Supreme Court from President Obama. The Senate must hold off any confirmation until the next President is seated. Unfortunately the presidential debates have been more theater and less substance about the real issues surrounding the Supreme Court. The election of the next President has now taken on even greater importance. The future of the Supreme Court and America now depends on the Senate blocking any nominee by President Obama and the people electing the right person to occupy the White House.”