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.
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.
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.
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.