Political experts in Virginia said the Republicans’ initial reaction was a gamble.
“It’s pretty extraordinary. … This is a whole new level of gridlock. I think it’s going to be hard to sustain ‘no vote, no hearing’ as an approach,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a professor of political science and international affairs at Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg. “The Republican senators who are up for election are not going to feel like it’s a great idea to risk losing their seats.”
Farnsworth suggested alternative routes that Obama could use to get a nomination through.
“One would be to select a popular senator, as senators tend to like other senators,” he said. “Another option is an appeals court judge who has already received a lot of support from Republicans in the past. It’s going to look particularly nasty and partisan if somebody who was confirmed 95 to nothing for an appeals court position can’t get a hearing or an endorsement from the Senate a few years later.”