Toomey says he, Senate GOP very unlikely to back Obama pick

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 18, 2016 1:08 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., speaks during a roundtable discussion, Tuesday, July 7, 2015, at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania office in Philadelphia.

(Allentown) -- Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania says that it's unlikely he or a Senate majority would support President Barack Obama's nominee to fill a U.S. Supreme Court vacancy and that it might be better to not hold election-year confirmation hearings.

Toomey told The Associated Press on Thursday that confirmation hearings might mislead people into thinking senators are strictly weighing a nominee's qualifications.

But he says he and other Republicans are also weighing how a nominee from the Democratic president would change the court's balance in his favor before a new president takes office.

Toomey is running for re-election to his swing-state seat. He backed Senate GOP leaders this week in arguing that a nominee for Justice Antonin Scalia's seat is best left to the next president.

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