Obama Will Meet with GOP Senators on Supreme Court

“President Obama is to confer in the Oval Office on Tuesday with Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, and Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, about filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. If everyone maintains previously stated positions, it might be a very short meeting,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Obama is adamant that he will name a nominee to the court, most likely in the next few weeks. Republicans remain just as adamant that they will not even meet with Mr. Obama’s nominee, let alone hold confirmation hearings.”

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  • jrforbo

    it’s frustrating with POTUS always taking the high ground, especially with these asshats. I’d like to see McConnell’s army discharge papers.

    • DKDC

      I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama called them to put the squeeze on them. Not saying it will work or that we’ll ever know exactly what he said to them, but I find it hard to believe a guy like Obama would call a meeting like this if he didn’t have a plan.

      My bet is he’s using Trump’s down ballot impact as leverage on the senators.

      • You’ve obviously been following a different Presidency for the last seven years. He’ll cave the instant they hit the door — probably by asking them who they *would* consider — and then they’ll move the goalposts out from under him and call a press conference claiming two scoops of victory.

        …And the proof that this is what he’s “planning” is that no Senate Democrats are invited to this meeting.

        • Buford2k11

          You did describe the GOP plan book…but PBO has outsmarted them, time and time again…Caving is a hobby enjoyed by many, and is also called Spelunking..the GOP sucks, admit it…

        • OBforObama

          Well, you must be thinking of the empty chair that Eastwood was talking to, and who the RWmedia have been describing.

          My guess is he says, “Look, you two, you have to decide whether you’re throwing in with Trump, and your party is going to get destroyed in November, or whether you’re going to show the American people that the Republican party is more than a racist, bomb-throwing Trump. Your call. Better not wait too long.”

          • nothing he says will sway them but the optics are important, too.

          • realnrh

            “Either consider my moderate nominee now, or Hillary gets to pick a forty-year-old energetic liberal with a Democratic Senate come January. Unless you think you can stop Trump, or think that Trump won’t be a millstone around your necks all year.”

          • DKDC

            That’s pretty much what I was thinking too. They may still be unmoved, but I think Obama will make it clear he’s going to make them pay a price.

        • your notion of “proof” is as laughable and childlike as your projections

        • tabster

          His first two years Obama did spend too much time trying to play nice with the Republicans (and was rewarded for it with the 2010 drubbing when Democrats all stayed home). Since then he’s been much more of an effective President.

          My guess on the meeting is it will be a “writing’s on the wall” conversation. Trump is going to guarantee they lose the presidency, and if they want to guarantee losing the Senate as well, they’ll keep obstructing.

        • tabster

          Actually Vice President Biden and Democratic Senators Reid and Leahy will be at the meeting.

  • RadicalCentrist

    If Republicans won’t hold hearings on the President’s nominee, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee should go ahead and hold their own hearings. Put them on YouTube and let the public judge.

    • littlejohn

      Well, they have kind of done this already.

      • RadicalCentrist

        Not really. They can’t because Obama hasn’t nominated anyone yet.

    • 802walker

      If Trump dominates Super Tuesday, the GOP will be singing a different tune about allowing Obama to nominate.

  • TexasLou

    i hope Obama welcomes them, says go to hell, and walks out of the meeting.

    • abctefg

      Do you have a gif for that?

  • APV

    “One aide to a vulnerable Senate Republican, who requested anonymity, jokingly suggested that there might be another, very different source of pressure as early as Tuesday night. “I’m not sure we want to be in the business of telling voters that we’d rather risk having Donald Trump nominate the next Supreme Court justice”.

    From Yahoo News…


    • TexasLou

      I can’t stop laughing.

    • RadicalCentrist

      David Duke in a black robe instead of a white one?

      • Mark_in_VA

        How about The Nuge?

    • MC Planck

      I read that several times, but I can’t find the punch-line.

      • embo66

        Me, either.

        To hear Trump talk re: immigration, abortion, guns, Christianity, etc., he’s a perfectly conservative candidate who would surely nominate someone the Republicans would be very happy with. I don’t see this argument giving McConnell or Grassley much pause at all.

  • mtnycz

    I think the president could walk out ofte meeting and claim progress was made (even if nine was). That will weaken McConnell as his base does not trust him and will assume Obana is telling the truth and that McConnell is lying

    • OBforObama

      I’m not sure the base would trust Obama more.

      • they are ready to believe the worst of their own leadership, which is why most of them won’t even touch or be photographed near the black man.

  • CAfan

    There’s not only a SCOTUS opening, there are 5 Circuit Court seats that Obama has nominated people to fill, and there are also 11 District Court nominees who are awaiting a floor vote….There are many seats to fill, but as expected when GOP took over senate in 2015, judicial nominations have come to a screeching stop….


    • jrforbo

      country first with these guys?

      • hipsteriac

        It’s their laser-like focus on jobs, hard for them to do anything about judgeships with all eyes on employment.

  • BillBuckley

    A smart party would see the likelihood of Trump as their nominee and cut a deal to get a moderate of their choosing on the Supreme Court, or even a Republican like Brian Sandoval. The Republican Party is not a smart party though

    • APV

      In their toxic politics, any deal will be seen as another cave in & sell out, which will only strengthen the outsider.

    • Except that if the convention rules prove as plastic as yesterday’s article suggested, they just won’t nominate him. Granted that’s got pretty dire implications for their party as well, but yesterday’s story was unusually persuasive on the subject of how the GOP will keep Trump from the nomination, at least.

      • BillBuckley

        There would still have to “an other” on which to base a challenge to Trump. Contested conventions, whether in the 1960s, 1976 or 1980, always had a challenger.

        It could well be that by March 15th, Trump will have wiped out the remaining candidates. Since there isn’t any looming challenger, no white knight to save them from themselves, I’d suggest the idea that there won’t be any challenge at the convention either. They’ll just try to be the best face on a bad situation, but it’ll still likely blow up on them. Somehow.

      • realnrh

        Rules changes only go so far. At the end of the day, if Trump has a majority of the delegates pledged to support him on the first ballot, he wins. If they try to take it away from him despite him having a clear majority, it will guarantee that Trump’s supporters spend the entire campaign crapping all over Republican chances.

    • Statetheobvious

      So under your plan, a Democrat nominates a judge the GOP is happy with. Sounds like a good deal for the GOP!


    Senate Republicans are free to vote against Obsma’s nominee, but need to be accountable for doing so. If they believe the nominee is unqualified, they need to explain why. Given the super stars being considered, that wouldn’t be plausible. If they want a Justice who will protect corporate power, limit the government’s ability to deal with global warming, overturn marriage equality and choice, they need to state that. Of course, all those views are unpopular, so they want to evade responsibility for doing their job and being accountable for it by hiding behind this “Let the voters decide.” We don’t do plebiscites at the national level. Governing is deciding and that doesn’t stop in election years. This is just an attempt to delegitimization Obama and evade accountability. In short, SOP for the GOP.

  • vtbikerider

    Since Obama has nothing to lose, he should just tell them that this issue will be front and center for every campaign down ticket. Tell them to expect wave after wave of negative do nothing ads.

    • “Should” is a word that progressives in these threads have used many, many times over the past seven years — and at this point what we have to show for all those should’s is a wage-free recovery and a health insurance reform bill that was originally written by The Heritage Foundation.

      • OBforObama

        Well, all of Bernie’s progressives SHOULD turn out to vote for somebody other than Jill Stein, and rid us of enough House members and Republican senators so that we can end some of the obstruction that is holding things back.

        I don’t suppose you have a prescription for what Obama SHOULD have done to give us a single payer universal health care written by, I dunno, Jill Stein? Bernie Sanders? How SHOULD Obama have rammed through higher wage guarantees that would force the corporations, who decide those things, to raise wages?

        • i’m sure Dave had a brilliant plan to get us single payer if he hadn’t been betrayed by the dastardly republican squish Obama.

      • your material is old, stale, and kind of thick.

        the Heritage Foundation shorthand is a lie,btw. you seem to be inordinately susceptible to framings intended to sway moderates and shameable conservatives.

      • growe

        If only we had that Bush magical economic growth – as long as by “growth” you mean debt soaring skyward, job losses, social spending thrust on the states so oil and defense can boost their profits. No one misses “Bushonomics” 1991 or 2007.

  • mikemiller56

    Grassley is killing his election chances, this obstruction is not playing well back at home.

    • littlejohn

      I’d like to see him go.

  • L’Homme Armé

    “Gentlemen, look at what’s happening in your primaries, and what that’s doing to your chances in the general election. It’s this simple: Either you can work with me to select Scalia’s replacement, or Hillary Clinton can work with Chuck Schumer. Your choice.”

  • littlejohn

    A masterful political move by Obama. After they reject Obama, Democrats can effectively campaign against an obstructionist GOP.

  • LarryBurt

    Shrewd move. He is seeking the “advice” of the Senate. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him ask the Senate for a list of suggestions. I can see them squirming now.

    ETA: I wouldn’t be surprised though, if he’s the only one in attendance.

  • Shamman

    Good for you, Mr. President. At least you tried. My hope is that you send them off with, “Goodbye, Mister soon-to-be-former Leader, and goodbye, Senator soon-to-be former Chairman.”

  • irish93

    Appearances and moral high ground. Same reason we make nuisance-value settlement offers to plaintiffs right before the case goes to mediation, even though they’re demanding a million dollars and an airplane.

  • mtnycz

    I love how McConnell keeps throwing that Biden quote out there. If he really wants us to use a Senator’s previous statements to determine their current position on the matter, maybe we should ask Mitch McConnell from 2005 what he thinks on the matter. If only there was a record of his statements from then. Oh wait, there is:

    “Let’s get back to the way the Senate operated for over 200 years, up or down votes on the president’s nominee, no matter who the president is, no matter who’s in control of the Senate. That’s the way we need to operate.” – Mitch McConnell. [Los Angeles Times, “The Nation; Clock Ticks on Effort to Defuse Senate Battle,” 5/23/05]”

  • peterjohn936

    President Obama needs to nominate someone. Lets the Republican Senate refuse to do their job. It will be an important precedent that the Democrats might have to use later.