When Republicans first blocked the nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court they indicated that they wanted the current presidential election to be a referendum on that vacancy.
But now Sen. Richard Burr has joined other GOP colleagues in declaring his intention to keep the post vacant if Hillary Clinton becomes president (“Would blocking picks unleash constitutional confusion?” Nov. 2 news article).
No matter our politics, all lovers of the Constitution and our democratic tradition should reflect on the dangerous precedent this would set. It was never intended by our founders that the legislative branch of government deny the president its constitutional authority to nominate judges merely because of partisan differences.
Does Burr believe that only conservative Republican presidents have the authority to nominate Supreme Court justices? Because that’s not what the Constitution says.