Merrick Garland recently submitted his completed questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is a standard questionnaire provided to judicial nominees as part of the confirmation process.
This article from the White House blog emphasizes how important the questionnaire is for both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as the American people. The questionnaire is a record of Garland’s career and credentials, presenting a case for why the Senate should hold a hearing and, ultimately, confirm him as the next Supreme Court justice. Garland’s completed questionnaire can be found here.
With the changing political landscape and Donald Trump becoming the presumptive GOP nominee, this writer from the conservative blog RedState says that the choice now is to either confirm Merrick Garland, the current Supreme Court nominee, or watch as Hillary Clinton becomes elected and then nominates an even more liberal justice.
The writer of the blog post said Republicans should consider the fact that Garland still exists as an option “a gift,” and that Garland should be confirmed “before it is too late.”
The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF) recently released a report outlining Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland’s record on civil rights and equalities. According to this article from The International Business Times, the LDF said Garland is “highly qualified to serve as a justice of the Supreme Court,” but they do have some concerns with his past rulings and opinions.
For the past 19 years, Garland has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, but the caseload there has not provided many controversial or “hot” issues. Many groups are calling for more information about Garland and the kinds of decisions he would make. For more information about the NAACP findings, you can read the full report here.
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens recently spoke out on the Supreme Court vacancy, urging the Senate to move forward and give nominee Merrick Garland a fair consideration.
He said that the Senate should go ahead and hold a hearing, according to this article from The Huffington Post. The conversation occurred at the New York Historical Society, with a reporter from the National Law Journal. Stevens claimed that he isn’t aware of any confirmation that has ever been delayed to this extent, and warned that going into the next court term with only eight justices could lead to deadlock on major decisions.
Donald Trump was recently asked if he would consider nominating Ted Cruz to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court, left by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump commented that Ted Cruz is “certainly a smart guy,” but may not have the right temperament to be a successful nominee. Trump stated that in order to be a justice of any kind, one must be a very smart and rational person, and eluded that Cruz may not fill that description.
This blog from The Hill explains that Donald Trump plans on announcing over a dozen justices to be chosen from to fill the current vacancy in the Supreme Court.
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.