by: the Common Constitutionalist
Well, that didn’t take very long, did it. Just days after Justice Scalia’s untimely death and an even shorter period of time since Republican leadership declared its intention not to consent to an Obama nominee; moderates within the Republican Party are going wobbly. I guess that is not entirely accurate. The ones going wobbly were already.
The Huffington Post is happily reporting that, “Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), one of the most at-risk GOP incumbents this cycle, has broken with his party and said he’s open to considering a Supreme Court nominee put forth by President Barack Obama.” Of course they didn’t come out and say they were happy – I am just pointing out what should be obvious.
Kirk wrote in an op-ed in the Chicago Sun Times that the president has every right to nominate a replacement for the vacated seat. Fair enough. He added that, “I also recognize my duty as a senator to either vote in support or opposition to that nominee following a fair and thorough hearing along with a complete and transparent release of all requested information.” Kirk said that the Senate’s role in the process is as important as the President’s, which is also correct.
And he’s not alone in breaking ranks with the supposed hard-line stance of Republican leadership. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Dan Coats of Indiana and of course Susan Collins of Maine (really a democrat) and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all came out to parrot Kirk’s stance.