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HomeIllinois PoliticsU.S. Sen. Mark Kirk hesitates on Obama Supreme Court nominee hearings

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk hesitates on Obama Supreme Court nominee hearings




CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk has yet to weigh in on whether he thinks the Senate majority should hold hearings on an Obama nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia's sudden death over the weekend.

The nation is divided along ideological lines on the issue, and the most conservative Republican senators support delay considering the nomination until after a new president is in office in January 2017. The New York Times reports on two conservative senators' responses:

Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, who faces re-election this year, said in a statement that the Senate should follow what he called "common practice" to stop acting on lifetime appointments during the last year of a presidential term. Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, agreed, leaving nearly every vulnerable Republican incumbent backing Mr. McConnell’s pledge.

Illinois' Senator Mark Kirk isn't conservative, and he is facing re-election challenges in the March 15th primary and the November General Election. His opposition in the GOP primary is from the right and his opposition in the General will be from the Democrats' Left.

The Times says:

The coming clash on Capitol Hill is a testament to the stakes: A president has a chance to establish a clear liberal majority on the Supreme Court. That could shift the direction of legal thought on a wide variety of issues like climate change, gay rights, affirmative action, abortion, immigration, gun control, campaign finance and labor unions.

Kirk often follows the lead of Senate colleague Susan Collins of Maine, who is not facing re-election in November. Collins is seeking a "middle ground" on the issue. She told the New York Times, "Our role in the Senate is to evaluate the nominee’s temperament, intellect, experience, integrity and respect for the Constitution and the rule of law."

Will Kirk follow the Senate's conservative leadership, or liberal-leaning Susan Collins on this dilemma?

In an op-ed by political columnist Tim Carney Tuesday, he says the Supreme Court makeup will determine future public policy on a key social issue: abortion.

When Americans get exercised about Supreme Court nominations, it’s about one issue above all: abortion. If Republicans block any high court nominations from President Obama, the 2016 elections will become increasingly about abortion — in a way that splits the pro-choice Left from most of the country, thus helping the G.O.P.

That may be true is most cases, but not in the case of Illinois' Mark Kirk, who defends Planned Parenthood and describes himself as "pro-choice." 

But there are other key issues to be decided by the high court, including union member rights, state's rights and Obamacare. 

Kirk's campaign manager and staff have been hiding Kirk from the media for most of this Senate primary campaign, and allowing few spontaneous interactions with Illinois press. He refuses to debate his Republican primary challenger, dismissing any threat from Oswego businessman James Marter.

Marter says supports waiting until the 2016 election to hold hearings.

"Should there be a nominee that upholds the Constitution in the spirit of late Justice Antonin Scalia I would support that nomination," Marter said. "Given the Obama administration's history, that type of nominee is unlikely. If you don't think its the Senate's job under the advice and consent responsibility of the US Senate, look no further than what the Senate did with Robert Bork under the Bush administration.

With Mark Kirk's vote to confirm radical leftist Judge Wilhemina Wright to the federal court, the Senator has not proven to consider how the nominee applies the constitution to legal decisions, Marter said.

"This is the highest court in the land. The constitution is the document that guarantees liberty for all people, regardless of their political ideology. [Kirk's] vote in this regard simply cannot be trusted." 


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  1. What a disfunctional party to allow Kirk to continue. Like Hillary, he is seriously ill and is hated by large elements of his own party. He has no chance to win. Thank you, James Marter, for stating the obvious on the Supreme Court. In a better world, you would beat Kirk going away.

  2. This demonstrates the stupidity of the Republicans on relying on the courts instead of using their constitutional authority to reign in Obama. Apparently Republicans were banking on one person — Scalia — instead of defunding Obamacare and his unconstitutional amnesty, which they had the right to do. Wow, hasn’t that backfired! With weaklings in the Senate like the befuddled Kirk, I have no confidence that the Senate will do the right thing.

  3. The Constitution gives the Senate the right to advise and consent and that includes reject. So it really should not matter if Obama nominates someone which he will, The Senate Judiciary Committee could hold hearings but Sen. McConnell could simply never call for a vote on the floor. If he does allow a vote it will be because he knows that Sen. Kirk will not vote to confirm or that his vote will not make the difference between confirmation and rejection. McConnell does know how to count votes and he will make sure he has enough to reject the nomination. President Obama admitted yesterday that when he was a senator he tried to filibuster the nomination of Justice Alito when President George W. Bush nominated Alito to the Court in 2005. Senate Democrats, and the New York Timed editorial page have taken the exact opposite position from now when Democrats has a majority to block a nomination by a Republican president in the past.

  4. Can we show some civil respect as a nation to the court and to the surviving family members of Justice Scalia? How would all of you feel if everyone started wanting to engage in political conversation right away about you or a loved one of yours that were to suddenly die in your sleep? it is civilly disrespectful to try to act as if a sense of urgency as president Obama is attempting to create concerning the Court. By the way, the court has had fewer than 8 justices on it and was considered at full strength in it’s history! Learn these facts from visiting the Courts official website and learn about this fabulous institution!

  5. bush was going to pick a supreme court nominee 17 monthes before an election and the demecrates stopped it saying it was too close to the election and never voted on it till after the election but before this judge is in the ground Obama will put someone else forward-we NEED to play hardball like the dems do or America is lost

  6. the dems told bush it was too close to an election to put someone up for judge and that was 17 months before the election and they never voted on one and now they say at8 months less than half the time we have plenty of time,dont worry Obama will have a nominee before this judge is in the ground or close after–we NEED to fight the way the dems do or their country destroying ideas fight for our ideals before America becomes a permitly weak and crippled soceity however the gop pics to run vote for them or the ems will destroy America GOD Bless