Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) stumbled Wednesday on MSNBC while criticizing Senate Republicans for saying that they will not consider a nominee from President Obama to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court, conceding that Republicans were not violating the Constitution in not acting on a nomination.
All In host Chris Hayes pointed out the argument Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and others opposing a potential nomination for the high court from President Obama have made since Scalia’s death. The Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), wrote a letter to McConnell, which was signed by all of the Republican members of the committee stating opposition to taking up such a nomination.
“Well, the argument that Mitch McConnell made in that letter and that the Judiciary Committee made is that ‘Look, the Constitution is clear, advise and consent.’ And they use that word, ‘We are holding our consent preemptively to anyone that you nominate.’ Their argument is that this is squarely constitutional,” Hayes said.
“Well, uh, I understand that, but, what’s unprecedented about this is, you know, I guess, we don’t have to do anything,” Franken said. “It’s probably constitutional for me to stay in Minnesota and not show up here. But, that’s sort of not the point of bothering to become a senator.”