“New Reality Looms: Only a Friendly Senate Will Confirm Justices”

Carl Hulse for the NYT:

The bitter impasse over the nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland is raising a once unthinkable possibility: Presidents may no longer be confident of filling a Supreme Court vacancy unless their party controls the Senate.

With incumbents more worried about primary challenges and activist groups wielding greater influence, senators from both parties have shown increasing reluctance to back otherwise qualified judicial nominees whose views and records do not align with their own or their party’s.

Now the Republican decision to deny Judge Garland any consideration is taking court politics to a hyperpolarized level, one that does not bode well for the future of an already seriously troubled confirmation process.

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