The empty chair at the U.S. Supreme Court will not get a new occupant until 2017, Sen. Mike Lee told a recent breakfast gathering hosted by The Washington Times’ Insights Club.
There is “abundant” historical precedent for leaving the court without a full bench of justices, the Utah Republican explained, noting that in recent years alone, dozens of cases were decided by eight members of the court because of a recusal by a sitting justice.
Moreover, for logistical reasons, even if a Supreme Court nominee were to be confirmed this year, that person wouldn’t be seated until October — a few weeks before the new president is elected, Mr. Lee told the Insights Club members gathered at The Monocle restaurant on Capitol Hill on Feb. 25.
There is “too much at stake” for such an important, lifetime appointment,Mr. Lee said.
“The American people ought to have a voice in this,” which is why it should be left for the next president to handle, he said.
This is why “we’re not budging an inch” on the decision to not confirm a nominee this year, he said.