If, in fact, the Republicans in the Senate take a posture that defies the Constitution, defies logic, is not supported by tradition simply because of politics, then invariably what you’re going to see is a further deterioration in the ability of any President to make any judicial appointments. And appointments to the Supreme Court as well as the federal bench suddenly become a complete extension of our polarized politics.
And at that point, not only are you going to see more and more vacancies and the court systems break down, but the credibility of the Court itself begins to diminish because it’s viewed simply as an extension of our politics — this is a Republican judge or this is a Democratic judge, as opposed to, this is a Supreme Court justice who is supposed to be standing above the day-to-day politics that take place.
So I understand the posture that they’re taking right now. I get the politics of it. I’m sure they’re under enormous pressure from their base and their constituencies around this issue. I’ve talked to many of them, and I’ve told them I’m sympathetic. And, by the way, there’s not a lot of vigor when they defend the position that they’re taking, that they wouldn’t even meet, for example, with a Supreme Court nominee. They’re pretty sheepish about it when they make those comments.
So we’ll see how this plays itself out. But I’m going to do my job. I’m going to nominate somebody and let the American people decide as to whether that person is qualified. And if they are qualified, let the American people decide whether there’s enough time for the U.S. Senate to hold hearings and have a vote. It’s not as if, from what I see, the Senate calendar is so full that we don’t have time to get this done.