Obama Said to Be Nearing Announcement of Supreme Court Nominee

Date: March 15, 2016 Last Edit: March 17, 2016

News Comes as Democrats, GOP Prepare for Protracted Confirmation Battle

Speculation over who President Obama will nominate to replace former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is reaching a fever pitch as he nears an announcement on his nominee. This promises to be a contentious confirmation process. The New York Times reports that the President could nominate one of three appellate court judges: Sri Srinivasan, Merrick B. Garland or Paul J. Watford. Political director David Simas says that there is “an elaborate campaign plan” prepared for the announcement. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest went on the offensive, saying that Republicans “are planning to tear down the President’s nominee without regard to who the person is.” 

Meanwhile, Politico reports that the administration and its allies are planning a coordinated media and political blitz aimed at weakening GOP resistance to confirming the nominee. This includes planned attacks in the Senate battleground states of New Hampshire, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where GOP incumbents are most vulnerable. There are also plans to pressure Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley in Iowa. Activities could include photo ops with Senate Democrats, mock hearings or other events designed to highlight GOP resistance. The Associated Press reports that Republicans are preparing for the nomination battle by starting a Republican National Committe task force to orchestrate attack ads, petitions and media outreach. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said that the task force is planning “the most comprehensive judicial response effort in the party’s history.” In addition, the Judicial Crisis Network announced a $250,000 TV and online ad campaign targeting the potential nominees.

What This Means for Small Businesses

The NFIB Small
Business Legal Center
is involved in several cases currently before the Supreme
Court and a number of other cases that could reach the high court in the next
few years. The next Justice will have a significant vote on issues important to
small businesses, including regulatory reform, labor law and property rights.

Additional Reading

The New York Times and Roll Call also cover the story.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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