In a new scholarly article, law professors Robin Kar and Jason Mazzone have taken a deep dive into the history of Supreme Court nominations to test the plausibility of the Senate Republicans' purported "justification" for their action. Over the entire course of American history there have been 103 instances (prior to this one) in which an elected president faced a vacancy on the Supreme Court prior to the election of the next president. They found that in every one of those 103 instances, the president nominated and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appointed the new Justice. There has not been a single exception to this practice in all of American history. And this is true even when, as in the current situation, the vacancy arose during an election year. In short, this would be the first time in American history that a president in President Obama's position would be denied this opportunity.