America’s favourite TV pastor has complained that the Supreme Court has “ripped up the fabric of American life”.

Pat Robertson made the claim on his nationally-syndicated TV show, The 700 Club, while urging Republicans to block Barack Obama’s nomination for the Supreme Court vacancy.

The pastor warned: “One opinion after another the Supreme Court has dominated our nation: marriage, homosexuality, schools, you go down the line, prayer and so forth, they’ve come out against, against, against and they’ve ripped up the fabric of American life.

“The Republicans absolutely should hold firm until the American electorate decides who the next President is going to be.”

Obama’s nominee for the position is DC appeals court judge Merrick Garland, who is broadly considered a centrist.

However, the Republicans in the Senate had promised to block the nomination even before Mr Garland was nominated, claiming that the decision should be left for the next President.

The vacancy emerged when Justice Antonin Scalia, a hardline conservative who unwaveringly opposed LGBT rights decisions, passed away earlier this year.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said: “Americans deserve a full Supreme Court bench, and President Obama’s nominee deserves a hearing.

“There is no doubt that Merrick Garland is a highly qualified candidate, and the Senate has a Constitutional responsibility to give him swift and fair consideration.

“The Supreme Court has a sacred responsibility to uphold the rights of all citizens, and we must hold accountable any politicians who tamper with our nation’s highest court for their own gain.”