WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee say they have come to a consensus that there should be no hearings on a Supreme Court nominee this year to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.
"We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame-duck president," The Hill quoted Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas as saying after a special meeting of the Judiciary Committee.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chimed in, saying the next president should pick the nominee.
"There's no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off years," The New York Times quoted Obama as saying. "That's not in the constitutional text."
"For my part, it's clear that the president can send up a nominee -- regardless of where he is before he leaves office," Collins told CNN. "It is the duty of the Senate, under the Constitution, to give our advice and give our consent or withhold our consent. I believe we should follow the regular order and give careful consideration to any nominee that the president may send to the Senate."
A CBS poll last week found Americans were closely divided over who should nominate the next justice, with 47 percent saying Obama should choose the nominee and 46 percent preferring the next president to do so.