(KFVS/AP) - "I intend to do my job between now and January 20 of 2017," Obama said. "I expect them (lawmakers) to do their job as well."
The Republicans' recommended solution is "irresponsible and it's unprecedented," Sen. Pat Leahy, the ranking Democrat Senate Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday. "The American public expects us to do the job we're elected to do. The president is going to do what he is elected to do and let's vote up or down."
The dispute reflects years of escalating partisan hostilities over judicial nominations, as well as the unusual timing.
"He will send a name up, and they'll (Senate Republicans) will turn it back," Yepsen said.
This is going to energize the race for president because it reminds people what's at stake here, on both sides, conservatives and liberals."
Yepsen said Republicans could lose a lot of seats in the Senate if the Democrats pull in a big victory, which could help Obama, or if the next president is a Democrat, push a nominee through more easily.
Although the court can operate with only eight justices, it would be unable to issue nationwide rulings on any issue in which the justices are split 4 to 4.