Wednesday, March 23, 2016

House Judiciary Democrats Introduce Resolution Urging Senate to Give Full and Fair Consideration to SCOTUS Nominee Merrick Garland

Washington, D.C. –Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), together with the support of all House Judiciary Democrats, introduced a resolution (below) that urges the Senate to observe regular order and to give President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court full and fair consideration and an up-or-down vote.

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives'
John Conyers, Jr.
“Judge Garland is an eminently seasoned jurist and an exemplary nominee for the Supreme Court. His deep respect for and fidelity to the Constitution and his sensitivity to the impact of the law on ordinary people make him a good choice to fill the vacancy,” said Rep. John Conyers. “Unfortunately, with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, we have seen partisan politics regarding Supreme Court nominations reach a new low.  While the House of Representatives does not have a formal say in the nomination process, it is important that its voice be heard on this important constitutional matter. I urge the House to pass my resolution and for the Senate to do its job.”

The resolution expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the Senate should fulfill its constitutional obligation to provide full and fair consideration of President Obama’s nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland.

Justice Antonin Scalia passed away on February 13, 2016, leaving a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Acting pursuant to his authority under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland on March 16, 2016 to fill the vacancy with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Within hours of Justice Scalia’s passing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declared that the Senate would not consider any nominee that President Obama would select, regardless of the nominee’s qualifications.  On February 23, 2016, all Republican Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Senator McConnell in which they pledged not to hold any hearings on any person that President Obama nominated to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

“During my more than 50 years in Congress, I have witnessed few comparable examples of partisan politics and complete obstructionism.  There are too many important cases still pending before the Supreme Court to allow this vacancy to stall America’s progress. This is not the first time we have confronted this very situation, as the confirmation of Justice Anthony Kennedy by President Ronald Reagan occurred in 1988, a presidential election year,” continued Conyers. “The Senate should do its job, comply with regular order, hold fair hearings on Judge Garland’s nomination, and then hold an up-or-down vote on the nomination.” 

The resolution was introduced with the support of all Democratic Members of the House Committee on the Judiciary: Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Pedro Pierluisi (D-Res.Comm.- PR), Judy Chu (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Karen Bass (D-CA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Susan DelBene (D-WA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), and Scott Peters (D-CA).
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