It is not surprising the Republican congressional leadership and candidates for president rapidly threw down a gauntlet to President Obama on his appointment to replace Justice Scalia. Republicans and conservatives have been highly critical of the Court in recent times, largely due to its legalization of same-sex marriage and upholding the Affordable Care Acts (ACA) insurance subsidies (63% of Republicans oppose same-sex marriage and 81% of Republicans disapprove the ACA).
The loss of Justice Scalia and the near certainty that, regardless of how centrist Obama’s court nominee may be, the court would move to the left is a high-profile cause for maximum resistance. The strategy also has benefit of constraining Obama’s choice to a very consensus-type candidate if the political heat gets too high and Senate Republicans have to accept someone.
U.S. News: Scotus-hating candidates should look in the mirror to see what Americans really hate
Pew Research: Negative views of Supreme Court at record high, driven by Republican dissatisfaction