Republican opposition to the Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland has remained strong, and it appears as if it will stay that way until the next president takes office.
According to television ad spending, the fight to get Merrick Garland a proper hearing and vote is dying down. This article from The Times-Picayune shows that while spending through April 14 came close to $1.6 million, that has since dropped to just one buy of $137,000.
The majority of Garland’s opposition comes from Republican senators who face re-election. They have chosen to stick with their party in the fight to allow the next president to choose the nominee, in order to avoid losing support in their election.
Former Sen. Tom Coburn, known as “Dr. No,” recently spoke out about the Supreme Court vacancy. He said that the President, no matter their political party, deserves to have their nominee formally considered. The current nominee, Merrick Garland, faces majority opposition from Republicans in the Senate who refuse to give him a hearing or a vote.
This article from the blog “Daily Kos” points out that Sen. Coburn by no means feels that the Senate should confirm Garland. He believes that Republicans can show their opposition by voting, but simply voting “no.”
Sen. Coburn is highly regarded by other Senate Republicans, and only the future will tell if his remarks have any impact on others.
Almost 21 years ago today, the nation experienced its largest domestic terrorism attack. An explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City left 168 people dead.
Merrick Garland, today’s Supreme Court nominee, was a predominant figure in the case. At the time, he was working in the deputy attorney general’s office and was brought in to supervise the investigation and prosecution. This NPR article commented on Garland’s decision-making throughout the case, noting that he did everything to ensure that the investigation and prosecution went flawlessly.
Garland did everything by the book, not willing to take shortcuts and, in turn, sacrifice the case. Garland’s attitude towards that case reflects his history and views as a judge: by the book and following the law.
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is one of the latest senators to meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. King was impressed with Garland and stated that he deserves a public hearing.
This article from The Portland Press Herald stated that Sen. King found Garland to be what he considered a “small-conservative,” and not an activist at all. This was reassuring to Sen. King, especially seeing as the next Supreme Court judge is taking the place of Antonin Scalia, who was a strong conservative.
Sen. King is not the only senator from Maine to have met with Garland. He followed Sen. Susan Collins, who recently met with Garland and was also impressed.
Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently met for breakfast with President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. Sen. Grassley made it clear that this was a “courtesy meeting” in order to inform Garland, in person, that he would receive no vote and no confirmation hearing.
The Los Angeles Time article states that Sen. Grassley is staying with the idea that the people should have a voice in the matter, letting the next President determine their own Supreme Court nominee.
The Supreme Court has already faced some challenges with deadlocked votes, and soon they are scheduled to hear one of the landmark cases this term.
While some claim that the Senate has a duty to give Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, a proper hearing and vote, others claim that there is no such obligation.
This article from the American Center for Law and Justice points out that the Senate has a co-equal role to the president in the process of naming a nominee to the Supreme Court. They have the right to either act or take no action at all in regards to said nominee. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even said once that, “The Senate is not a rubber stamp for the executive branch.”
The ACLJ encourages Americans who support the Senate in their decision to make their voices heard by calling Senators’ offices, expressing support on social media or even signing the ACLJ petition.
President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy last month, but has yet to receive a hearing. However, he is not alone. There are currently 46 other judicial nominees that have yet to receive a vote.
The Huffington Post reports that GOP leaders do not want to confirm any judges until 2017, so there are currently vacancies on courts throughout the US that may remain vacant for awhile. Republicans, since becoming the Senate majority in January 2015, have only confirmed 16 judicial nominees.
President Obama says that this is “dangerous,” and the Republicans are only contributing to the political polarization of our judicial system.