Either it is a constitutional requirement in which case the congress are refusing to perform their constitutionally required duty. They can not advise, nor consent without the candidate even being considered. This is especially damming for those who mentioned preventing all appointments if Clinton won the election, these members are not only refusing to do their constitutional duty but are holding our constitution, government, and the entire american people in contempt!
Or it is a waivable right granted by the constitution and by refusing to act upon that right in a timely fashion congress has waived its right to "advise and consent" and as such Obama's nominee should be in place before the trump presidency.
No person or party should be able to totally prevent filling a vacant justice seat without regard to the nominee. Preventing specific nominees yes, banning all because of partisanship NO! If they get away with it then they are indeed above the constitution.
The end result of that path would not be beneficial to anyone. Either the supreme court would end up dead from lack of replacement judges, or be filled with extremists from both end who might radically shift positions and overturn previous rulings or even disregard the constitution in favor of their own ideology. We could go from abortion being legal to first degree murder with all participants retroactively labeled guilty and executed for example. Perhaps after a couple generations with ultra conservative rule being normal brown vs board might be reconsidered if they were given reservations like native americans.
Of course what is most likely to happen is that obama's nominee will be ignored and Trump will nominate an extreme conservative. Democrats will have the option of holding their ground (to which republicans will remove the filibuster and SCOTUS will be full of those with extreme views), or more likely roll over and appease republicans to keep the filibuster (that will be used against them but not for them in cases like this) once, twice, and maybe even three or four times during Trum's presidency. If they chose that option they might as well just resign as they are obviously incapable of standing against what will become tyranny.
Please note I am not suggesting that democrats should follow in the republican party's footsteps and block all nominee's but that they should consider each nominee individually like they deserve and not roll over and appease if they find that nominee unconscionable.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is not above the constitution. Some criticize McConnell for refusing to allow hearings and a vote for Obama's supreme court nominee. However, McConnell did nothing wrong by refusing to grant senate hearings. The Senate has the right to advise and consent when it comes to supreme court nominees. In effect, the senate advised the president that it was rejecting his nominee.
No single person is above the Constitution, not even Mitch McConnell. He cannot do whatever he wants without regards to the law. Sure, he has a lot of power, but if he steps too far, someone will stop him. People aren't going to just sit back and let the man walk all over the Constitution.
Mr. McConnell is the Senate Leader and he will continue to be in the incoming Congress. Nevertheless, he is not above the Constitution. Sure, there is fair criticism to be had for his refusal to bring Mr. Obama's Supreme Court nominee up for a vote. Although it may set a bad precedent, it is not unconstitutional.
I believe that Mitch McConnell's actions should be punished. The constitution is there for a reason and should be followed by everyone, regardless of their status or position. The Supreme Court vacancy needs to be filled as soon as possible, and McConnell was not subtle about his reasons for holding the constitution.