Most Americans think the Senate should vote on whomever President Barack Obama nominates to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, according to a new Pew poll.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated almost immediately after Scalia’s unexpected death that the Senate should not confirm a new justice until a new president assumes office. But 56 percent of Americans, including nearly 30 percent of Republicans, disagree with his assessment, according to the Pew Research Center poll released Monday.
Obama has said he intends to nominate a new justice before his term ends.
About four of every 10 people polled agreed with McConnell, saying the Senate should not hold hearings or confirm a nominee until the next president nominates someone to replace Scalia. Most of them said they would not change their mind, regardless of who Obama chooses to nominate.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” McConnell said in a statement following Scalia’s death. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
McConnell and Obama’s positions set up an unexpected showdown leading up to the 2016 election, as Congress was anticipating a relatively quiet year.
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