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Liberal groups to Roy Blunt: Do your job, vote on Supreme Court nominee

Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, has said he would vote against any Obama administration nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court in this election year.
Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, has said he would vote against any Obama administration nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court in this election year. AP

A coalition of liberal organizations presented petitions to Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt on Thursday calling for consideration of an Obama nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Blunt and other Republicans have said President Barack Obama should not fill the seat in this election year, that the choice should be left to the next president. Democrats have countered that Obama’s re-election in 2012 should include a mandate to fill the pivotal spot on the court vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia.

On Wednesday in Blunt’s Kansas City office, about 10 representatives of various liberal groups presented a member of the Senator’s staff with a flash drive representing signatures of people wanting a nomination to move forward, said Victoria Dixon.

“We wanted to let him know that he should not stop the nominating process,” said Dixon, a local chapter leader for Organizing for Action, a self-described progressive group that backs Obama. “We told him, ‘Do your job.’ 

Among the other groups in the campaign attempting to pressure Blunt on the issue are Progressive Change Campaign Committee, MoveOn.org Civic Action, UltraViolet Action, Color of Change, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, People For the American Way, Common Cause, NextGen Climate, Sierra Club, CREDO Action, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Donna Edwards, and Every Voice Action.

The group said it has bought static, online ads in its effort.

Last month in Kansas City, Blunt told reporters that “I certainly don’t mind taking a vote on this issue. …My vote, no matter who he nominates is going to be that no, this should be left to the next president.”

The Republican said he’d even reject the nomination of his daughter.

At the time, his remarks signaled a slight split in the Republican Senate — some saying Obama was a lame duck who ought not nominate anybody, and others saying he could put up a name but that they’d reject any choice he made.

Since then, some GOP senators have sided with Blunt, taking the position that the president is free to make a nominee and that they’re likely to reject his pick.

The New York Times has reported that Obama is vetting Iowa federal appellate judge Jane L. Kelly, a federal appellate judge in Iowa for the high court. That potentially puts Charles E. Grassley, another Iowan and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a tough spot. The Republican has said he will block the president from filling the vacancy.

Scott Canon: 816-234-4754, @ScottCanon

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