A very learned analyst at SCOTUSblog looks at the possibilities.
The fact that Lynch was vetted so recently for attorney general also makes it practical for the president to nominate her in relatively short order. There is some imperative to move quickly, because each passing week strengthens the intuitive appeal of the Republican argument that it is too close to the election to confirm the nominee. Conversely, a nomination that is announced quickly allows Democrats to press the bumper sticker point that Republicans would leave the Supreme Court unable to resolve many close cases for essentially “a year.”Whoever the president nominates, that person must be confirmed by the Senate, alnd Mitch McConnell isn't doing himself, or the country any favors by saying that he'll bock any nominee sent forward by Obama. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see McConnell block everything that Obama wants to do, especially those things that will affect the country for several decades, but McConnall didn't have to telegraph his punch.
Why lay out the strategy so plainly? Why give the Democrats something to complain about? If McConnell would simply have sent condolences to the Scalia family; sent a representative from the Senate to the funeral; observed all the proper formalities, then if asked could simply have said that the Senate would consider the president's nominations as they arrive. Then, after a couple of weeks of hearings, and after a simple party-line vote, the nominee would be rejected. Then Obama would make another recommendation, then a couple of weeks of hearings, and some political jockeying, and another party-line vote, and by that time we'd be in the middle of the summer, and it would make political sense to delay the confirmation until after the election.
But, Mitch isn't that smart. He's painted himself into a corner and now he either loses face, or loses face. That's all he's got left. Mitch McConnell is an idiot. And he's one reason that we call the Republican party The Stupid Party.
As this Fox article points out, there is plenty of hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle.
In the immediate aftermath of Antonin Scalia’s death, Democrats and Republicans, along with liberal and conservative commentators, are making arguments that are parsed as principled, but really naked partisanship.
They are taking positions that they would reverse in a heartbeat if the Supreme Court vacancy occurred under mirror-image circumstances. In fact, many of them have taken the opposite stance in the past.
So the high-minded rhetoric really rings hollow.Indeed it does. Were the parties reversed, they would be making exactly the same arguments. I'd reassure the asseblage when we remember that it was Chief Justice John Roberts that gave us Obamacare not once, but twice. It is hard to know which way a jurist will fall when the stakes are high. Just because they are selected as conservative (or vice-versa) doesn't mean that they'll stay that way.
As usual, I fart in the general direction of John Roberts and his court.
I'll pray for our country.