Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid insisted on Monday that Republican plans to block a Supreme Court successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia would amount to blocking the entire Judicial Branch.
In his first floor speech since Scalia’s death, the Nevada Democrat accused Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of “an unprecedented attempt to hold hostage an entire branch of government” by not taking up President Obama’s eventual nominee.
Reid said McConnell should take up President Obama’s nominee, who has not yet been chosen, and said the Constitution calls on the president to nominate justices to the Supreme Court.
Republicans, meanwhile, have noted that key Democratic leaders were interested in blocking Republican appointments toward the end of the last two Republican presidencies. Video surfaced on Monday showing then-Sen. Joe Biden calling for Democrats not to hold a hearing on any potential nomination from President George H.W. Bush.