Purveyor of Truth
Article II, Section 2: “[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court.”
The Constitution certainly doesn't speak volumes on the nomination and appointment of justices to the SCOTUS, the above is all it says. It establishes no time frame in which the such nomination and appointment shall be made, nor does it establish specific guidelines or procedures that the senate shall follow while giving Advice and Consent to the president.
SHALL - v. 1) an imperative command as in "you shall not kill." 2) in some statutes, "shall" is a direction but does not mean mandatory, depending on the context.
From the above legal definition of the word shall we see that it can be interpreted as mandatory or as a direction not meant as mandatory. Because of the limited verbiage in the Constitution, lack of a specific time frame for action, and no procedural guidelines with respect to nomination and appointment of Supreme Court Justices it is difficult to argue that the current republican senate is acting without regard to the Constitution if it postpones confirmation until after the 2016 election. What's clear however is that the republican leadership and the RNC are acting out of purely partisan and ideological considerations, not necessarily in the best interest of the country. Having said the foregoing I suppose that depends on ones partisan political beliefs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican Party is launching a campaign to try to derail President Barack Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, teaming up with a conservative opposition research group to target vulnerable Democrats and impugn whomever Obama picks.
A task force housed within the Republican National Committee will orchestrate attack ads, petitions and media outreach to bolster a strategy that Senate Republicans adopted as soon as Justice Antonin Scalia died last month: refusing to consider an Obama nominee out of hopes that the next president will be a Republican.
The RNC will contract with America Rising Squared, an outside group targeting Democrats that's run by a longtime aide to GOP Sen. John McCain. GOP chairman Reince Priebus said it would be the most comprehensive judicial response effort in the party's history.
Priebus said the RNC would "make sure Democrats have to answer to the American people for why they don't want voters to have a say in this process."
Key to the GOP's strategy will be targeting Democrats facing tough races over their insistence that Obama, in his final months in office, gets to pick a justice that could reshape the court's ideological balance for decades. In addition to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the RNC said it would target Democratic Senate candidates in Colorado, Ohio, New Hampshire, Florida and Pennsylvania, among others. The party also plans to target Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In the end it could very well be determined by the electorate, just as the republicans wish it to be. Let the voters speak .