Georgia is one of a handful of states which are considered ‘battleground’ territory in 2016 and could determine if the progressive legacy of President Barack Obama continues via another Democratic President– Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders– along with having a U.S. Senator from Georgia who could vote for the next Supreme Court justice, replacing the recently deceased Antonin Scalia. Republicans have given indications that any confirmation vote will be delayed until next year when President Obama is out of office. Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate believe that President Barack Obama should not be allowed to name Antonin Scalia’s successor to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Republicans currently occupy 54 seats in the U.S. Senate with Democrats occupying 44 and there are two ‘independents’ who usually side with the Democrats.
Republicans are concerned that the trend of conservatism on the U.S. Supreme Court will be threatened which started a quarter of a century ago in the early 1990’s when Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court.
Republican Johnny Isakson , the current U.S. Senator, supports the narrative that the nation’s first African-American should not have the opportunity to nominate a replacement for Antonin Scalia and said the following to the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
“My personal feelings are we’re eight months away from an election in November and 10 months away from swearing in a new president of the United States. The American people are going to the polls to vote in November to pick the next president and I think the next president ought to be the one to fill that vacancy and not the president who’s going out.”
Isakson continued, “No risk of judgment when you’re talking about the Supreme Court is worth what it could do to the country by acting too fast at the wrong time.”
The current U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, Ed Tarver, confirmed his interest to the Atlanta Journal Constitution about the possibility of running for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat against longtime Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who will be running for his third term. Tarver, 56, could become the first Democrat since Max Cleland (1997-2003) to occupy Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat along with being the first African-American from the Peach State to accomplish this feat.
President Barack Obama told the media that he would nominate a successor “in due time” and called on the Senate to act on the nomination.
“There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. These are responsibilities that I take seriously, as should everyone,” he said in a televised address.