Scalia front and center in the PA Senate race
Joining fellow Republicans across the country, PA Sen. Pat Toomey said Monday that President Barack Obama should not appoint a nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
"The next court appointment should be made by the newly elected president," Toomey said in a statement. "If that new president is not a member of my party, I will take the same objective, non-partisan approach to that nominee as I have always done."
Scalia's death over the weekend divided the nation along party lines. To the left, Democrats urge Obama to fulfill his constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court member. On the other side of the aisle, the the GOP-led senate promises to reject whoever Obama puts forward.
Even before Scalia's passing, observers of the Supreme Court were expecting Obama's successor to appoint at least two new members to the bench. Scalia was not one of those two looking to retire in the coming years. So even if Obama were able to appoint someone before he leaves office next year, the ideological balance of the nation's highest court would remain in contention next term.
And so the stakes have been raised in the 2016 PA Senate race.
Katie McGinty, one of three Democrats looking to unseat Toomey, told AL DÍA Monday that the Senate's position is "unacceptable."
"The Republicans have not allowed a moment of memoriam for the Justice. They're immediately on the political attack in terms of whether or not the president will be well-recieved in submitting a nominee, which really, of course, is an unacceptable position for the U.S. Senate," McGinty said. "The public has already spoken by electing President Obama to four year, not a three year term."
Braddock mayor John Fetterman, another candidate, issued a question Monday to the incumbent Toomey: "So which is it, Sen. Toomey: will do you your job, or choose partisanship over patriotism?"
And the Morning Call reports that Joe Sestak, who narrowly lost the senate race in 2010 to Toomey, called on the senator to "fulfill his duty and vow to quickly consider a Supreme Court nominee, and stand with Pennsyvlanians, not with partisan obstructionism."
In a separate statement, Toomey voiced his concern about a Supreme Court Justice's lifetime appointment at this hour.
"In addition to the normally high level of scrutiny accorded to a Supreme Court nominee, this nominee would have to pass an additional level of scrutiny, which is the question of whether he or she ought to receive a lifetime appointment this year, when one could be made with a broad public stamp of approval less than a year later. That is a standard no nominee is likely to be able to meet."