President Obama appointed Merrick Garland shortly after Scalia's death, but Republicans immediately announced they would never put him up for a vote.
The U.S. Supreme Court is facing a special brand of chaos right now as it begins its new term without a justice and deadlocked on an ideological level. President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee remains in limbo, with Republicans refusing to even put him up for a vote in the hopes that their candidate will win the presidency in November allowing them to pick their own Supreme Court justice.
Antonin Scalia died in February, opening up a seat on the Supreme Court that at this point is unlikely to be filled until at least next February, and most likely much later. That has resulted in a split court that lacks a much needed tiebreaker, and justices have had to alter how they operate, choosing cases for less contentious issues in order to avoid a 4-4 tie.
Republicans have hamstrung the Supreme Court as a result, and it will be months before they are able to operate normally again.
The Supreme Court convenes on the first Monday in October, meaning they’ll be back in session at the start of this week. But all eyes will be on Election Day on Nov. 8, when the nation learns whether Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton is the nation’s new president, and therefore gets to choose the next Supreme Court justice.
President Obama appointed Merrick Garland shortly after Scalia’s death, but Republicans immediately announced they would never put him up for a vote. Obama’s repeated pleas to consider him have fallen on deaf ears, and as the election approaches ever closer, it looks less and less likely that Garland will be approved — at least this year.