Speed Reads

The fight over Scalia's replacement

Obama reportedly regrets filibustering Justice Alito's SCOTUS nomination in 2006

Republicans are accusing President Barack Obama of hypocrisy for criticizing their intransigence on an Antonin Scalia replacement since, as a senator in 2006, Obama himself sought to block a confirmation vote for Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Now, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says the president "regrets" that approach.

Though he says Obama and the 23 other Democratic senators who tried to block Alito "shouldn't have looked for a way to just throw sand in the gears of the process," Earnest was quick to draw a contrast between 2006 and the current fight over Scalia's successor. The White House spokesman opined that, as opposed to the political nature of the Republicans' opposition, Obama's decision to filibuster was "based on substance," according to The Hill.

"These are two different things," Earnest said.

Obama announced at a news conference in California yesterday that he planned to nominate a successor for Scalia despite Republican opposition, saying he would choose a "well-qualified candidate." Though Republicans have by and large signaled blanket opposition to any Obama pick for the Supreme Court, there do appear to be some cracks. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, for example, has not ruled out giving a hearing for any appointment Obama might name.