Many Republicans have urged that the vacancy left by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia not be filled until after President Obama leaves office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opined that "the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice," a view echoed by a great deal of his colleagues.
Senator Elizabeth Warren had a fairly sharp response to this interpretation of the Constitution. Writing on her Facebook page, the Massachusetts Democrat said the following:
The sudden death of Justice Scalia creates an immediate vacancy on the most important court in the United States.
Senator McConnell is right that the American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice. In fact, they did — when President Obama won the 2012 election by five million votes.
Article II Section 2 of the Constitution says the President of the United States nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate. I can't find a clause that says "…except when there's a year left in the term of a Democratic President."
Senate Republicans took an oath just like Senate Democrats did. Abandoning the duties they swore to uphold would threaten both the Constitution and our democracy itself. It would also prove that all the Republican talk about loving the Constitution is just that — empty talk.
With President Obama set to nominate someone to replace Scalia, Warren's and McConnell's positions are likely to be repeated many, many times in the near future.