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Schumer: "unprecedented" if GOP senators block Supreme Court nominee

Ellen Abbott

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says Republican suggestions to hold off approval of a new Supreme Court justice until next year will tie the court in knots. After the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia this weekend, President Barack Obama will have to nominate a new justice for a court that is now, which is split evenly on ideological lines. With Scalia, the court leaned conservative 5-4.

While in Syracuse today, Schumer said the Senate should at least consider a nominee.

“What I’ve hoped is that the president will nominate a mainstream, bipartisan type of nomination that will get the support of both parties," Schumer said. "Republicans voted on the president’s previous two appointments to the Supreme Court, and we should get that done.”

Schumer thinks there will be a public outcry over suggestions to block any nomination, forcing the GOP leadership to move ahead with hearings and a vote.

“We’re hopeful that the public will be so upset at what Sen. McConnell proposed that both Democratic senators and, more importantly, Republican senators will say, 'look,we don’t like who the president nominates and then it will be our prerogative to vote no, but at the very least, there ought to be a hearing and a vote,'" Schumer said.

He hopes that the president will nominate a mainstream bipartisan type individual to replace Scalia, who was among the conservative members of the court.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.