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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
The Constitution gives the responsibility to nominate a new justice directly to the president, but it leaves confirmations up to the Senate.

In fact, the Senate has the duty to confirm a nominee. If they fail to do so, the Supreme Court is “hung,” which means there are four justices who lean conservative and four justices who lean to the liberal side. The idea behind having a nine-member court is to ensure that decisions are actually made; they need an odd number to function properly and democratically.

However, led by Senator Mitch McConnell, a number of Republicans have said that they won’t even allow a hearing to confirm an Obama nominee.

“The idea of not even allowing a hearing strikes a chord that is pretty deep,” said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York). “It will mount; it will get much stronger when the president has a nominee.”

Typically, the nomination and confirmation process takes only a few months. The longest time a Supreme Court seat was left vacant was during the Nixon administration, when two of his nominations were rejected. That resulted in a 391-day delay… but historically, the Senate has never taken more than 125 days to confirm or reject a nominee.

What Do You Think?

Do you think the Senate will hold off on approving an Obama nominee until a new president takes office in 2017, or do you think they’ll be able to find common ground?

I’m really interested in whether you think they should hold off or if you feel that they’d be shirking their constitutional responsibilities. 

Feel free to share your thoughts and join the discussion on my Facebook page or on Twitter – I’ll look forward to hearing your opinions!

Carlos Gamino


Scalia's replacement - what can congress do?
​By Carlos Gamino

Since Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in mid-February, Senate Republicans have vowed to block consideration of any nominee – but can they do that?
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Scalia's replacement - what can congress do?

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