WASHINGTON (AP) – Some Republican lawmakers are saying they would be fine having just eight justices on the Supreme Court for another four years, rather than having Hillary Clinton fill the vacancy.
After the death of Antonin Scalia earlier this year, Republicans insisted that the choice of the next justice should be made not by President Barack Obama, but by the winner of the November election. And Republicans have blocked confirmation hearings for Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.
But several Republicans are now saying that if the voters elect Clinton, they will block her nominees.
In an audio recording obtained by CNN, Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina told volunteers over the weekend that if Clinton is elected, he will do everything he can to make sure that “four years from now,” there will still be “an opening on the Supreme Court.”
Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Ted Cruz of Texas have also suggested blocking any Clinton nominees. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said in a debate last night that he “can’t imagine” voting for any Clinton nominee though he stopped short of vowing to block a pick from a Democratic president.