Gabriel Malor | There’s Ample Precedent For Rejecting Lame Duck Supreme Court Nominees

<p>Rochester, New Hampshire: August 18, 2012<br /> President Barack Obama gives someone a thumbs up during a reelection campaign event at Rochester Commons. It happened while he worked a rope line at the conclusion. ©Chris Fitzgerald / CandidatePhotos</p>

Gabriel Malor, The Federalist:

Historically, many Supreme Court nominations made in a President’s final year in office are rejected by the Senate. That started with John Quincy Adams and last occurred to Lyndon B. Johnson.

It is critically important that the Senate hold pro forma sessions, since President Barack Obama would be able to make a recess appointment to the Supreme Court if the Senate goes out of session. Currently, there is a five-day recess this week and a two-week recess scheduled for April. There have been twelve such recess appointments to the high court. A recess appointment would last until the end of the Senate’s next session.

Historically, most presidents select a nominee within a week of a Supreme Court vacancy. However, there have been several lengthy vacancies when the Senate refused to play ball with controversial presidents or controversial nominees.


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