While some are projecting that President Obama could nominate his attorney general to the Supreme Court, Loretta Lynch is distant on the subject to say the least. In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier earlier this week, Lynch said that she’s happy to be serving as attorney general, and that she hasn’t had any discussions with Senate Democrats over her filing the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
During the same interview, Lynch said that Hillary Clinton wasn’t getting preferential treatment relating to the investigation conducted by the Department of Justice as to whether she mishandled classified information when she served as Secretary of State.
Yet, as stated before, Lynch could place pressure on the GOP since she’s already been vetted, though she would most likely go down in flames in a party line vote. She could galvanize Democratic leaning voting blocs, but who wants to go through the excruciating process of hearing after hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, which could be grueling, only to be shot down for a few bumps in voter turnout come Election Day? President Obama seems to know that maybe dragging his top lawyer through the mud isn’t worth it, or fair, especially to Lynch.
As Marc Thiessen wrote in the Washington Post, whoever this nominee may be–it behooves them to turn this nomination down. If Clinton looks like she’s going to win in the general election, which is a strong possibility, then wait for her to be elected and start lobbying to fill the vacancy:
Anyone who accepted would be throwing away any chance of ever making it to the Supreme Court under a future president. Think about it: If you are a serious liberal judicial candidate, and you think that Hillary Clinton might nominate you a year from now, why would you accept Obama’s doomed nomination today and ruin your chances of getting bipartisan support and 60 votes needed to get confirmed under a new president?
Right now, conservative groups are sharpening knives for the upcoming nominee. It’s not going to be pretty (via Politico):
America Rising, the party’s premier opposition research firm, has had a dozen staffers scrutinizing potential nominees for a week on behalf of the Judicial Crisis Network, a well-funded clearinghouse for the Supreme Court ad wars. American Crossroads' nonprofit arm is poised to use the matter in its campaign to keep the Senate in GOP hands. And the official Republican Party committees are looking for ways to reap political benefits at the ballot box.
Obama's pick, in short, will get all the drawbacks of heightened scrutiny that comes with the nomination, but with little chance of actually getting the job. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is vowing to stall until after the election no matter the choice, but Republicans are still going to treat the nominee's credentials as seriously as if he or she might actually get a vote.
“They’re going to light this person up,” said one top Senate Republican aide.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassely (R-IA) recently met with the president at the White House, where he reiterated his position of holding no confirmation hearings for Obama’s nominee.