One court observer doubts Senate Republicans would follow through on threats to block any Supreme Court nominee a possible President Hillary Clinton would propose.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz is the latest lawmaker to hint the GOP could stop Clinton from appointing any justices, if she wins in November and they hold on to a majority. University of Wisconsin Madison political scientist Ryan Owens does not believe it would happen though.
Owens says the threats are not “particularly credible.” Rather, he thinks it’s more about Republicans making an attempt to raise awareness among voters about what’s at stake in the election if Democrats hold the White House and reclaim control of the Senate. “Republicans have had control of the court for a number of years right now, so reminding them that is at stake in this election could potentially motivate them to go out and vote.”
Owens argues the issue is much different than the GOP currently blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland by President Obama. Republicans have refused to hold hearings on Garland’s confirmation, arguing that the next president should be able to make the appointment.
If members did try to follow-through on the threat, Owens believes moderate Republicans would put a stop to it. “The Republican establishment would never concede to informally reducing the size of the Supreme Court down to eight justices,” he argues.
If it were to happen, it would likely stop the court from considering a number of complex issues that could come up in the next few years…which could be harmful to both sides of the issue.
If members did try to follow-through on the threat, Owens believes moderate Republicans would put a stop to it.