Yes, it has been five and a half years since his last Supreme Court nomination, but my recollection is that, whatever this ditzy spin about O looking for a "non-ideological" candidate, this is almost verbatim what he's always said about the sort of high court nominee he's looking for:
Barack Obama says he's looking for a Supreme Court nominee with a sterling record, a deep respect for the judiciary's role and an understanding of how the law affects real people.
Obama is offering his most expansive description of the qualities he's seeking in a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
He writes on the legal blog SCOTUSblog that he's looking for someone who approaches decisions with no "particular ideology or agenda." But Obama says he's also seeking someone guided by his or her "perspective, ethics and judgment." [emphases added]
In other words, one "who approaches decisions with a particular ideology and agenda" - in other words, his. That's what "deep respect for the judiciary's role" - i.e. as an un-elected, extra-constitutional, robed oligarchy - and "understanding of how the law affects real people" - i.e. skew and outright make up law and then force it on the country as leftwing ideology requires - means. It's what those phrases of The One have always meant. And that hasn't changed - especially now.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are digging in for a long siege.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
“I can now confidently say the view shared by virtually everyone in my conference is that the nomination should be made by the president who the people elect in the election that is underway right now,” McConnell said.
“In short, there will not be action taken,” he said.
The Senate Judiciary Committee:
“We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame-duck president,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters Tuesday after a special meeting of the committee.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said members of the panel reached a “consensus” that there should not be hearings or a vote on Barack Obama’s nominee.
“My decision is that I don’t think we should have a hearing. We should let the next president pick the Supreme Court justice,” he said after emerging from a meeting in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) office.
So that's it, then. Mark Kirk and Susan Collins are irrelevant; it's Mitchie the Kid and Chuck Grassley who are, and they've established the "Schumer/Biden Rules" embargo. Period.
For now, anyway. But realistically, even if they were inclined to be "bipartisan" about it, they really don't have any choice. Judicial appointments, especially to the SCOTUS, are the hottest of hot-button issues to the (non-Trumplican) GOP base. After all the self-destructive pitched fratricidal battles of the ongoing Republican civil war over the past few years, caving to Obama and allowing him to tilt what has been the closest thing to a last line of defense against "fundamental transformation" - really, not all that close, given last summer's disastrous King v. Burwell and Obergfell v. Hodges decisions, but still - for a generation or more would be instant political suicide.
Not that it matters all that much in any case, of course, because any of the three most likely Obama successors - Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump - will probably renominate whatever leftwingnut lunatic O chooses, and either this lame-duck GOP Senate will disconsolately confirm him/her/it after the November election, or next year's Democrat Senate will do so enthusiastically.
Either way, we've lost the SCOTUS, not from or out of any "GOP establishment" treachery, but from the Republican grassroots' own primary voting choices.
Thanks a heap, jagovs.
UPDATE: Put on your hip waders, the crap's getting deep already:
[Barack] Obama, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, said if Republicans defy their constitutional duties, it would deter the ability of any president to make judicial appointments and would diminish the credibility of the Supreme Court.
The Senate has no "constitutional duty" to follow the POTUS's orders. It's "constitutional duty" under Article II, Section 2 is to provide "advice" and grant or deny "consent". That advice can be provided perfectly well by denying any SCOTUS nominee a hearing, and consent can be denied equally well by denying them a vote. As the so-called ex-"constitutional law professor" very well knows. He's just trying to peel off more defectors like Senators Kirk and Collins to ratchet up the pressure on Senators McConnell and Grassley. So far, it ain't working.