President Obama Nominates Merrick Garland to Supreme Court, Now Senate Must Act March 16, 2016
Today President Obama made good on his promise from 32 days ago by nominating Judge Merrick Garland to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy left by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. AAUW members and supporters nationwide have urged the president to move forward with a nominee, thereby beginning the critical constitutional process to fill the seat. The president believes that Garland, a seasoned appeals court jurist, meets the criteria for this lifetime appointment because of his “independent mind and unimpeachable credentials [and an] unquestionable mastery of the law.”
It is now time for the U.S. Senate to undertake its constitutional duties on Garland’s nomination. The country deserves a national conversation on this candidate’s qualifications, and the candidate deserves a hearing and serious consideration. It is now the Senate’s turn to be an effective steward of the Constitution and advise the president on the nomination. Our proud history shows that there is ample time for the Senate to consider this nominee and give him an “up or down” vote.
This time-honored process of “advice and consent” is a critical part of our democracy, and the constancy of the process itself is as important as the confirmation of any individual nominee. AAUW is hopeful that our elected leaders will rise above the partisan fray and simply do what the Constitution requires: The Senate must move forward to fairly and expeditiously consider a nominee. In so doing, the Senate will reassure the American people that a fully staffed court will be available to deliver this year’s critical Supreme Court decisions. To do anything less is an insult to the proud precedent of our constitutional government transitioning peacefully and efficiently, especially in election years.