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Call Script to Members of Congress Urging Action to Prevent Gun Violence

I’m calling from Americans United for Change at 888-209-5655 to ask you to take urgent action to demand that the Republicans in Congress pass legislation to help stop the epidemic of gun violence.

Last week, we watched in horror as a self-styled terrorist gunned down 49 Americans in a LBGT night club in Orlando.

Now Democrats in Congress are demanding that Congress take action, but the Republicans refuse to call a vote on commonsense measures like universal background checks and a bill to prevent people on the terrorist watch list from legally purchasing guns.

Call your Member of Congress __________.  Tell him (her) to demand the Republicans – who control the agenda of the House -- give these bills an up or down vote instead of cow towing to the NRA.  Tell him (her) we’ve had enough “moments of silence” – now we need action.

To speak to Congressman ______ office right now, simply press “zero” on your touch-tone phone and we will connect you at no charge. Press zero now to be connected.

 

Jeremy Funk | 06.21.16 | Comment | Link to this post

Speaker Ryan Can Already Chalk Up June as a Loss

The Speaker who fancies himself a “serious” ideas man is struggling to be taken seriously even more than usual this month after admitting Trump’s rhetoric is “racist” while still endorsing his candidacy; regurgitating his purported anti-poverty plan that actually drives millions of Americans into it; and offering a hollow moment of silence in response to the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history rather than reversing his opposition to closing the Terror Gap Loophole that allows people on the “No-Fly List” to legally buy guns including military-style assault rifles. Ryan is every bit as serious as a degree from Trump U.

 
Cartoons via Nick Anderson and Dave Granlund
  • New York Times, June 8: Paul Ryan Calls Donald Trump’s Attack on Judge ‘Racist,’ but Still Backs Him : Mr. Ryan said Mr. Trump’s criticism of the judge, Gonzalo P. Curiel of United States District Court, was “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” But Mr. Ryan also reiterated his support for Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. “I disavow these comments — I regret those comments that he made,” Mr. Ryan said. “I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable. But do I believe that Hillary Clinton is the answer? No, I do not.”
  • Washington Post Editorial, June 2: Mr. Ryan’s endorsement of Trump: A sad day for the GOP — and America : Mr. Ryan capitulated to ugliness… Mr. Ryan has endorsed a man whose “solutions” include banning Muslims from entering the country, who casts aspersions on judges because of their ethnicity, who mocks people with disabilities, who lies repeatedly, who would muzzle the free press. Each one of these is disqualifying — particularly for anyone who believes in conducting the nation’s politics in a constructive, reasonable manner or who claims to have the long-term interests of the nation, rather than a short-term win at the ballot box or in Congress, in mind. Following Mr. Ryan’s endorsement, some insisted that the speaker had little choice. This is false. “My dad used to say, ‘If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem,’ ” Mr. Ryan said in March. When he has a comparable conversation with his children, how will Mr. Ryan explain the decision he made in this campaign?
  • Washington Post Editorial, June 11: Paul Ryan’s poor anti-poverty plan : The outline spends much more time on bromides such as working with nonprofit groups and giving states more flexibility. These reflect Republican federalist principles, but with a fatal lack of specificity. The program offers no real sense of how states might work through a series of thorny issues in practice … [h]is latest agenda seems designed to win acceptance from a fractious House Republican caucus, a vocal minority of which has no interest in affirmative policymaking of any kind, least of all fighting poverty. It’s thin gruel to justify endorsing a man Mr. Ryan knows is unfit for the presidency.
  • CAP Action, June 7: Speaker Ryan’s Poverty Hypocrisy; Paul Ryan Offers To Show Us “A Better Way” To Gut Programs That Help Struggling Families : Ryan’s policies remain a blueprint for exacerbating poverty and inequality, by slashing the investments that help families access child care, nutrition, education, and more. Speaker Ryan’s “poverty plan” comes on the heels of years of House GOP’s budgets that have repeatedly attacked vital programs that serve the very people Ryan claims he’s trying to help “move up the ladder of opportunity.” In fact, the Ryan-endorsed budget that the House Budget Committee Republicans adopted in March of this year gets three-fifths of its cuts from programs that help low- and moderate-income Americans, cutting these programs by 42 percent overall by 2026, all while protecting tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. And while Ryan says he wants to “push wages up,” he opposes raising the federal minimum wage.
  • Roll Call, June 13: Democratic Uproar Follows Moment of Silence; "Now do something" was heard over Speaker Ryan call to order : Following Ryan's moment of silence, an unidentified woman yelled, "Now do something."  Ryan tried to get back to the day's business. But then, South Carolina Democrat James E. Clyburn yelled, "Mr. Speaker!" in an attempt to be recognized. Other Democrats continued to yell, "No leadership" and "Where's the bill?"  They were referring to a bill to ban people who are on the Terrorist Screening Center 's no-fly list from being able to purchase a gun, but the point was to push for legislative action generally, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., told reporters.  Ryan tried to talk over the shouting, paused, recognized Clyburn, and then almost immediately cut him off to move to the next vote.  "He gaveled me quiet," Clyburn, assistant Democratic leader, told reporters afterward.   
  • FLASHBACK: Associated Press, November 20, 2015: Paul Ryan Balks Over Blocking Gun Sales To People On Terror Watch ListPeople on the U.S. government’s terrorist watch list often can’t board commercial airliners, but they can walk into a gun store and legally buy pistols and powerful military-style rifles. Sensing a political opening from last week’s Paris attacks, Democrats are renewing calls for Congress to pass legislation aimed at preventing terrorists from buying guns. Similar bills — including a post-9/11 measure backed by the Justice Department under Republican President George W. Bush — have been stymied for years, thanks in large part to opposition from gun-rights groups and congressional Republicans. According to a March analysis by the Government Accountability Office, people on the FBI’s consolidated Terrorist Watchlist successfully passed the background check required to purchase firearms more than 90 percent of the time, with more than 2,043 approvals between 2004 and 2014. The office is an investigative branch of Congress. The FBI is notified when a background check for the purchase of firearms or explosives generates a match with the watch list, and agents often use that information to step up surveillance on terror suspects. Under current federal law, however, association with a terrorist organization doesn’t prohibit a person from possessing firearms or explosives. […] House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., did not respond directly when asked Thursday if he favored barring people on the watch list from buying guns, saying, “We are just beginning this process of reassessing all of our security stances.”
  • Salon, June 14: Another moment of silence — when will we act? : Democrats turn their backs on Paul Ryan’s empty gesture for Orlando; One day after the worst shooting massacre in modern U.S. history, House Democrats erupt in protest at GOP inaction :  “Members have just had enough of having a moment of silence on the floor and take no action,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said to reporters after the vote.

Jimmy | 06.14.16 | Comment | Link to this post

9-9-9 Billboard Tour: #DoYourJob Senators!

May 4th

Portsmouth, NH

Jefferson City, MO

May 3rd

Springfield, MO

Cedar Rapids, IA

Allentown, PA

Kansas City, MO

May 2nd

Philadelphia, PA

Springfield, IL

Harrisburg, PA

May 1st

Sioux City, IA

Jimmy | 05.01.16 | | Link to this post

Over 100 Editorial Boards Call on Senate Republicans to Hold Supreme Court Hearings

New York Times Editorial: Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court If you tried to create the ideal moderate Supreme Court nominee in a laboratory, it would be hard to do better than Judge Merrick Garland. In nominating Judge Garland to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month, President Obama has taken his constitutional duty seriously, choosing a deeply respected federal appellate judge with an outstanding intellect, an impeccable legal record, and the personal admiration of Republicans and Democrats. [3/16/16]

 

Washington Post Editorial: Dear GOP: Stop playing politics and give Merrick Garland a confirmation hearing The case against Mr. Garland — well, there is not much of a case against him. He is unusually well-respected across the ideological spectrum. He worked his way up in the Justice Department as a prosecutor, gaining respect for supervising terrorism cases, before joining the federal bench. He was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 76 to 23 in 1997, and several sitting senators should remember voting for him. One, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), was once quoted as calling him a “consensus nominee.” During his time on the D.C. Circuit, Mr. Garland has gained a reputation for thoughtfulness. He is an ideal nominee in these divided times. [3/16/16]

 

Bloomberg Editorial:Merrick Garland Deserves a Hearing There are at least two criteria on which to judge President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. First are his qualifications. Second is the ideological space that he would occupy on a polarized court in a polarized political environment. Garland is a superb choice on both counts. [3/16/16]

 

USA Today Editorial:Give Judge Garland a hearing: Our view Neither side comes to this fight with clean hands. But blocking consideration of a Supreme Court nominee, one who appears to have impeccable credentials and fall within the broad judicial mainstream, for almost an entire year will only invite similar retribution when the situation is reversed. Garland deserves better. The country deserves better.[3/16/16]

 

Los Angeles Times Editorial: Senate Republicans' refusal to consider Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination is dangerous obstructionism The stubborn refusal of Senate Republicans to consider any Supreme Court nominee offered by President Obama would be outrageous, regardless of whom the president selected to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia. But Obama's announcement Wednesday that he will nominate Merrick Garland, a moderate federal appeals court judge who has won bipartisan praise during a long and distinguished legal career, puts the Republicans' irresponsibility and cheap partisanship in even starker relief. [3/16/16]

 

AL – Anniston Star Editorial: Credentials of a worthy nominee In 2005 after John Roberts was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush, this space noted he was a jurist with a keen intellect and an open mind. “This is a man who in the best traditions of the Supreme Court will grow on the job,” we wrote. We could say the same of Merrick B. Garland, the federal judge nominated by President Barack Obama on Wednesday to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. [3/16/16]

 

AR - Pine Bluff The Commercial Editorial: SCOTUS history against GOP In short, it’s time for the Republican party to grow up, suck it up and deal with the reality of Obama. The people have spoken. They twice voted to give Barack Obama the mantle of the presidency and all that entails, including the discretion to make nominations to federal positions. Why are Republican silencing those voices? Republicans like to wrap themselves in the Constitution when it suits their needs, but shed it just as quickly when they are rationalizing their own pursuits. [3/19/16]

 

AZ – The Arizona Republic Editorial: Montini: Upside down McCain flips (again) on Court nominee Maybe we should start calling John McCain the upside down senator? It's getting more and more difficult to keep up with the flip flops. When Merrick B. Garland was nominated to be a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in 1997 he was confirmed by a vote of 76-23. Seven of the Republicans who voted to confirm Garland are still in the senate. Among them is McCain. [3/16/16]

 

CA – San Jose Mercury News Editorial: Garland is superb court nominee Merrick Garland is a superb nomination by President Obama to fill Justice Antonin Scalia's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit is a moderate who is widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans for his integrity, judgment, intellect and basic decency. It would be a irresponsible for Republicans in the U.S. Senate to withhold consideration of Garland's nomination for strictly political reasons. [3/16/16]

 

CA – Ventura County Star Editorial: Republicans should not play politics with Supreme Court nominee President Barack Obama has named an eminently qualified and highly respected judge, Merrick Garland, as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. If you read his background, if you look at the legal opinions he has written in the 18 years he has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, you will find him to be a good person with a great legal mind. He is a nominee that meets all of our criteria for someone who will raise the legal and intellectual level of the Supreme Court. [3/16/16]

 

CA – Press Democrat Editorial: Obama did his duty; the Senate should too By nominating Judge Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, President Barack Obama fulfilled his constitutional obligation. It’s time for the U.S. Senate to do the same. Garland, the chief judge of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, deserves a confirmation hearing and a vote. [3/17/16]

 

CA – Fresno Bee Editorial: Obstructionist McConnell stiffs a qualified nominee It is, McConnell claimed, a matter of principle. It’s not. It is obstructionist politics at its base and gives voters yet more cause for disgust with the state of discourse in Washington. Senators are supposed to provide advice and consent. Rejection is a prerogative. But McConnell’s refusal to even meet with a qualified nominee and respected jurist drives the process further into dysfunction. [3/18/16]

 

CA – Sacramento Bee Editorial: Obstructionist McConnell stiffs a qualified nominee President Barack Obama fulfilled his constitutional obligation Wednesday by nominating an obviously well-qualified jurist to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reacted by restating his intransigent stand that the Republican-controlled Senate would not deign to meet with the nominee, Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court for the D.C. circuit, the nation’s most prestigious appellate court. [3/16/16]

 

CA - Lompoc Record Editorial: Grinding gears of politics That argument crumbles in the face of reality. The American people already made such a choice, twice in fact, to elect and re-elect the person responsible for filling vacant court seats. Obama is fulfilling his responsibility as president, as many of his predecessors have done. If it had been a Republican in the White House the past seven years-plus, he or she would be doing just as Obama is doing. [3/19/16]

 

CA – La Opinion Editorial: The Senate should consider the nomination of Garland President Barack Obama fulfilled his duty to nominate a judge to the Supreme Court to replace the late Antonin Scalia. The Senate now has a constitutional duty to "advise and consent". This does not mean that he is obliged to accept the appointment of the White House, but it should consider, in this case do the hearings and vote on the nominee. [3/16/16]

 

CA – Contra Costa Times Editorial: Senate should act on Garland nomination It would be irresponsible for Republicans in the U.S. Senate to withhold consideration of Garland's nomination for strictly political reasons. Nearly 65 percent of Americans support the call for the U.S. Senate to hold hearings on the nomination. The failure to proceed only furthers the destructive gridlock that has sadly marked Congress' work during Obama's tenure in the Oval Office. [3/16/16]

 

CA – San Francisco Chronicle Editorial: Don’t play politics with Supreme Court nominee There’s no clearer road to choosing a Supreme Court justice. The president nominates and the Senate confirms or rejects the choice. It’s a well worn path that this nation of laws has followed for more than 200 years. [3/16/16]

 

CO – Denver Post Editorial: Senate should give Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing This is the final year of Obama's presidency and Republican senators have insisted they will not hold hearings on any nominee. Yet even if they stick to that pledge — and they likely will — the nomination of Merrick Garland ought to give them pause. It ought to give them pause if for no other reason than the fact that their party appears headed toward the potentially disastrous choice of Donald Trump as presidential nominee, a candidate who will be a difficult sell to the general electorate [3/16/16]

 

CT – The Day Editorial: Senate Republicans would be foolish to block Supreme Court nominee President Obama’s nomination of a judicial moderate to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia leaves the Republican leaders in the Senate with no justification to shirk their constitutional role to either deny or confirm the selection. [3/16/16]

 

DE – Delaware News Journal Editorial: Court obstructionism nothing but bluster Elected officials like McConnell and Vitter say they’re beholden to the best interests of the American people. If, through hearings, it emerged that Merrick Garland was not fit for the highest court in our land, we would be the first to thank legislators like McConnell and Vitter for shining a light on the President’s erroneous nomination. But, by refusing to do their jobs, McConnell, Vitter and the other obstructionists are serving only to get their names engraved on some sort of monument to bluster. [3/16/16]

 

FL – Miami Herald Editorial: Senators, do your job, act on Judge Merrick Garland Judge Garland is a sitting appeals court judge with a much admired record and a history of bipartisan support who has managed to win Senate approval for the bench while drawing virtually no criticism. Over the years, Republicans have praised his record and suitability for the bench. [3/16/16]

 

FL – Tampa Bay Times Editorial: U.S. Senate should hold hearings, vote on court pick President Barack Obama has fulfilled his constitutional obligation by nominating an experienced, well-regarded appeals court judge to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Now the Senate should do its job by holding hearings and voting on whether to confirm Judge Merrick Garland. Senate Republicans who continue to act as obstructionists and ignore the president's nomination for political reasons are eroding public confidence in the legal system and abdicating their constitutional responsibility. [3/16/16]

 

FL - Sun Sentinel Editorial: Fairly evaluate Supreme Court nominee — now Let's remind the Senate that there's another principle here — the principle of doing the job you were elected to do, the job you are paid to do. And part of that job is to fulfill the Senate's duty to advise and consent — or not consent, but at least debate — on presidential nominations for the Supreme Court. [3/16/16]

 

FL – Tampa Tribune Editorial: Senate misplays its hand Obama has boxed Senate President Mitch McConnell and his colleagues in with the nomination of Garland, a well-regarded moderate judge who is a strong law-and-order advocate. At 63 he is older than most court nominees, which looks to be a calculated concession to Republicans by Obama. Garland earned a reputation as an aggressive prosecutor and astutely supervised the Justice Department’s response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing before being appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where his legal acumen is highly regarded[3/17/17]

 

FL - Ocala Star Banner Editorial: Court nominee deserves hearing With his choice of a nominee to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, President Obama gave Republican senators a golden opportunity to act in solidarity with the American people — a majority of whom want Washington to get over itself and move forward with filling the vacancy on the bench. [3/19/16]

 

FL – Sarasota Herald-Tribune Editorial: High court nominee deserves a hearing With his choice of a moderate nominee to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, President Obama gave Republican senators a golden opportunity to act in solidarity with the American people — a majority of whom want Washington to get over itself and move forward with filling the vacancy on the bench. [3/16/16]

 

FL – Daytona Beach News-Journal Editorial: Court nominee deserves Senate hearing President Obama on Wednesday made a shrewd pick for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court when he nominated Merrick B. Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Garland deserves a full hearing before the Senate Judicial Committee. [3/18/16]

 

GA - Ledger-Enquirer Editorial: Obama calls, raises GOP bet But a flat refusal even to consider any nominee — sight unseen, name unheard, credentials unknown — was a ratcheting up of partisan pettiness. The election-year rationalization that Americans “should have a say” is ethically feeble and transparently selective. [3/17/16]

 

IA – Cedar Rapids Gazette Editorial: Keep dirty politics out of Supreme Court nomination Grassley must publicly disavow the negative ad and the group responsible for it. … That Kelly was not ultimately nominated by Obama to the high court vacancy does not erase the fact that this organization needlessly sought to harm a dedicated public servant and obscure vital principles of our democracy. Even in the ethically questionable universe of political interest groups, it sets a foolhardy precedent. [3/19/16]

 

IA – Quad-City Times Editorial: Majority's voice ignored in SCOTUS stall Here's a number for you, Sen. Grassley: 816,429. That's how many Iowans preferred President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012. That's how many "voices" your utter obstructionism is silencing from your home state in the name of false principle and partisanship. [3/20/16]


IA – Daily Nonpareil Editorial: Our View: Grassley must allow Supreme Court nominee hearing
President Barack Obama has exercised his constitutional responsibility by nominating a judge, Merrick Garland, to the Supreme Court, following the death of Antonin Scalia. Now, it’s the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to hold a confirmation hearing to determine his fate. Unfortunately, Iowa’s own Sen. Chuck Grassley has once again put his foot down, declaring the Senate Republicans won’t hold a hearing, much less a vote. His willful insistence on leaving a vacancy on the Supreme Court will, in essence, neuter the court for a year. [3/17/16]

 

IL - Chicago Tribune Editorial: Vote him up or down, but vote: Merrick Garland, on the merits In nominating Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama on Wednesday praised the Illinois native as a judge "widely recognized not only as one of America's sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even-handedness and excellence." Over nearly two decades of service on a federal court of appeals, Garland has won nearly universal admiration. [3/16/16]

 

IL – Peoria Journal Star Editorial: Will GOP prove that judicial confirmation process is 'beyond repair'? It’s a shame that a fundamentally decent man is about to become a victim of indecent politics. By virtually all accounts, President Obama’s nominee to fill the Scalia vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, is eminently qualified. A majority of Senate Republicans said so themselves in 1997 when he was confirmed to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, where he has served since and now is the chief judge. Seven of those Republicans remain in the chamber, including Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who recently expressed his admiration for Garland in predicting — wrongly, as it turns out — that Obama would pick someone far more liberal. [3/16/16]

 

IL – Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: America can’t wait a year for a full-strength Supreme Court  The irony is that the system is working, if Republicans in the Senate would only show a little more respectfor the American Constitution. President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated an ideologically centristjurist with impeccable credentials to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. [3/16/16]

 

IN – Herald Times Editorial: Our Opinion: Court nominee deserves full hearing, vote With all due respect to Indiana’s two U.S. Senators, Joe Donnelly is right and Dan Coats is wrong on fillingthe vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. President Obama on Wednesday announced his nomination ofFederal appeals court judge Merrick Brian Garland to fill the court’s vacancy caused by the death of SupremeCourt Justice Antonin Scalia. [3/17/16]

 

KS – Topeka Capital-Journal Editorial: Roberts, Moran have a duty to consider the president's Supreme Court nominee That is contained in Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. Since it was ratified 226 years ago, it has clearly outlined how U.S. Supreme Court justices are nominated by the president and voted on by the Senate. But on Wednesday, both U.S. senators from Kansas announced they were no longer interested in abiding by those words. [3/17/16]

 

KS - Wichita Eagle (Rhonda Holman, Editorial Board): Don’t wait a year to fill Supreme Court opening The authority and obligations that come with the presidency apply all four years. That includes filling U.S. Supreme Court openings. So it’s disappointing that Senate Republicans aren’t even pretending to take seriously President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, the 63-year-old chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[3/17/16]

 

MA – Boston Globe Editorial: Merrick Garland deserves hearings and a vote Senators who have backed McConnell’s stance, including Iowa’s Chuck Grassley and New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte, also need to reconsider. Both are running for reelection in swing states. As it was, their refusal to consider Obama’s nominee was a disservice to their own constituents, who picked Obama in 2012. Now their failure to repudiate Trump, coupled with their insistence that the next president choose Scalia’s replacement, looks an awful lot like an endorsement of Trump’s fitness to pick the next justice. [3/17/16]

 

MA - Berskshire Eagle Editorial: Our Opinion: Do-nothing Republicans take pay under false pretenses In attempting to defend the indefensible following President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland, the kind of safe, moderate choice Republicans would normally support, some congressional Republicans have claimed that Democrats would do the same if the situation was reversed. They don't know this to be true, of course, but if majority Senate Democrats did refuse to hold hearings for a Republican president's Court nominee they would be absolutely wrong in doing so. A speculated wrong doesn't make right the Republicans' grievous, unconstitutional wrong. [3/19/16]

 

MA – Berkshire Eagle Editorial: Our Opinion: Obama Supreme Court nominee puts heat on Republicans President Obama has done his job in nominating a respected, experienced centrist judge as the nation's 113th Supreme Court justice. Now it is up to Senate Republicans to do their job and give him a hearing. In nominating Merrick B. Garland, a well-known appeals court judge who is highly respected in Washington, the president has put the pressure squarely on the Republicans, who immediately politicized the death of Justice Antonin Scalia by declaring that they would not conduct hearings on the president's nominee, let alone take a vote. This would put them in clear violation of their responsibilities as outlined in the Constitution, a document Republicans claim to cherish except for when they find it inconvenient. [3/16/16]

 

MA – Boston Herald Editorial: High court gamble President Obama’s Supreme Court pick shows both a level of seriousness about the work of the court and the confirmation process — and his unerring political instinct in finding a nominee Republicans should be ashamed to deny a fair hearing. [3/17/16]

 

MA – The Republican Editorial: Obama's choice for court, Merrick Garland, deserves hearing in Senate: Editorial Voters had two opportunities to decide – in 2008 and again in 2012. And each time, they picked Obama. To give voters the benefit of the doubt and assume that most of them understand that presidents select nominees for the court, they've already made their call. The fact is, Republicans don't want Obama to name Scalia's successor. End of story. [3/17/16]

 

MA – Milford Daily News Editorial: Pick spotlights irresponsible obstructionism As President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the country's second-most powerful court, to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Republican leaders immediately accused the White House of playing politics. In fact, it is Republicans who are putting politics above their essential responsibilities. Garland should get confirmation hearings, and after those a straight up-or-down vote. Any political damage Republicans endure for refusing will be self-inflicted and well-deserved. [3/17/16]

 

MA – South Coast Today Editorial: Our View: Court vacancy could work against GOP Our position is that the Senate should follow the process. If the body can’t confirm Judge Garland, it is still an example of the checks and balances working. This disruptive campaign season has roiled the entire campaign process and it’s a shame that the court has been drawn in. From the perspective of the American people, the sooner the seat is filled, the better. [3/18/16]

 

MA – Lowell Sun Editorial: Make Obama blink -- weigh his justice pick So Republicans, why not call Obama's bluff? Hold those confirmation hearings, and if Judge Garland's record passes muster, endorse his appointment and let the full Senate decide. [3/18/16]

 

MD - Baltimore Sun Editorial: The man in the middle Are Republicans so determined to appear willful that they'd sacrifice a national election? President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland, the widely-respected, centrist chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, may be regarded as an apolitical choice — if only because the former federal prosecutor is hardly the dream pick of his party's progressive wing. But in reality, the political implications are substantial: Should Republicans fulfill their threat to not even hold hearings on the nominee, they demonstrate the party's true Achilles heel, an inability to compromise or put the nation's interests ahead of their own. [3/16/16]

 

MI –Detroit News Editorial: Senate should give Garland a hearing Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge with indisputable credentials and a reputation as a centrist, is as good as the Republican Senate can expect from a Democratic president. Actually, he’s much better than they expected. Sen. Orin Hatch, chair of the Judiciary Committee, just last week said Garland was the type of nominee Obama should submit, but predicted he wouldn’t. [3/16/16]

 

MN – Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial: Garland and the American people deserve a Senate hearing and vote Americans do have a voice: They elected Obama (twice), as well as members of the Judiciary Committee, and most voters no doubt trusted that their representatives would respect the importance of the nation’s highest federal court. But McConnell and his cohorts seem intent on disregarding the Constitution, however they may interpret it. Unless the political gamesmanship gives way to leadership, the weakened court could reach 4-4 decisions, setting no legal precedent, for a year or more. [3/16/16]

 

MN – Fergus Falls Journal Editorial: Supreme Court nominee deserves a hearing On the issue of President Barack Obama nominating a justice for the Supreme Court to replace conservative Antonin Scalia, we come down on the side of history. It’s preposterous to claim there is not precedence for a president to nominate a Supreme Court justice in the final year of his second term. [3/18/16]

 

MO - St. Louis Post Dispatch Editorial: Sen. Blunt should give Supreme Court nominee a fair hearing Obstructionist GOP senators are vowing to block President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick B. Garland to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Voters should watch closely whether Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt treats this nomination with the respect and seriousness it deserves or gives priority to partisan maneuvering. [3/16/16]

 

MO – Kansas City Star Editorial: Obama’s solid Supreme Court choice exposes GOP senators as obstructionist puppets President Barack Obama has acted in the spirit of compromise with his choice of Merrick B. Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Republicans will expose themselves as naked obstructionists if they refuse to follow suit and hold hearings. Garland is a universally respected centrist judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. [3/16/16]

 

MT – Montana Standard Editorial: Daines, Zinke pander to politics with statements on Supreme Court nominee Sen. Steve Daines chose politics over doing his job when he marched in lockstep with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and pompously announced that he would not even meet with Merrick Garland, a centrist and a formidable legal scholar who has been almost universally praised for his judgment, hard work, judicial temperament and even-handedness. [3/18/16]

 

MT – Bozeman Daily Chronicle Editorial: Daines, Senate should consider court nominee Montana’s Republican Sen. Steve Daines can — and most certainly should — break from that lockstep of obstructionism and urge his colleagues to at least give the nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing and a floor vote. If Daines, or any other senators, find Garland to be poor choice for the high court, then they can vote against his confirmation. But they owe it to the American people to at least conduct hearings and articulate their reasons for rejecting the nominee. [3/20/16]

 

NC – Greensboro News & Record Editorial: Our Opinion: No, no, no, maybe It’s not far-fetched. Recent polls in North Carolina and other battleground states consistently show that most voters want the Senate to consider a Supreme Court nominee this year. Republicans like Tillis and Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina are defying public opinion for the sake of partisan obstructionism. Burr is running for re-election, and voters could punish him for his stubborn stance. [3/19/16]

 

NC - Charlotte Observer Editorial: High court pick deserves a fair hearing In Merrick Garland, President Obama has nominated an eminently qualified jurist for the nation’s highest court. As the well-respected chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – commonly called the nation’s second highest court – one could argue that Garland is the most qualified jurist Obama could have picked. [3/16/16]


NC – Raleigh News & Observer Editorial: Obama offers a worthy nominee, now Senate must do its job
Judge Merrick Garland, a Chicago native, qualifies on all counts and deserves to be confirmed by the United States Senate to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. That Garland might be denied not only a seat but even a hearing after his nomination by President Obama would be an outrage. It would be an affront not just to Obama, whom Republican leaders have vowed to stymie at every turn, but to the Constitution. The president is charged with filling vacancies on the Supreme Court, and Obama, with almost a year left in his term, is doing his duty. [3/16/16]

 

NE - Lincoln Journal Star Editorial: A worthy nominee for high court By nominating Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court, President Barack Obama took firm command of the principled high ground in American governance. If Senate Republicans stick to their vow to not even hold hearings to consider his nomination they’ll set a new low for partisanship. [3/18/16]

 

NE – Omaha World-Herald Editorial: Senate’s past offers lesson The Constitution says presidents “shall nominate” Supreme Court justices, who are approved “with the advice and consent of the Senate.” Yet Senate GOP leaders this year want to wait until after the November election and refuse to even meet with, much less vote on, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. … The important thing is to allow a vote to be held — regardless of whether the outcome is approval or disapproval. Otherwise, the Senate sends the disappointing message that it’s failed to learn a needed lesson from the recent past. [3/17/16]

 

NH – Concord Monitor Editorial: The game is clear, so let’s not pretend But Ayotte is no longer taking a stand for the American people, as she claims; she is blocking a hearing for a judge who is widely respected among Republicans and Democrats alike, and obstructing the proper function of the U.S. Supreme Court. [3/17/16]

 

NH – Keene Sentinel Editorial: Senate Republicans, do your job Ayotte has on occasion broken ranks with her party’s leadership. Not very often, but often enough to be of note, and almost always on issues in which party leaders’ positions ran contrary to those of New Hampshire’s business or environmental interests. This is an instance in which she needs to buck McConnell and call for action on the nomination of Garland. In actively choosing not to do her job, she runs the risk that, come November, voters will mimic Donald Trump, saying “You’re fired!” [3/17/16]

 

NJ – Star Ledger Editorial: Obama faces GOP hypocrisy over Supreme Court stonewall Republican leaders want us to believe they are blocking President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court for lofty reasons, for the sake of democracy itself. "Give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy," says Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). "We should let the American people decide the direction of the court," says Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). Just one problem with this pitch: The American people did have a say. They elected Obama twice, knowing he would have the power to make these nominations. [3/17/16]

 

NJ – The Record Editorial: Obama’s nominee In putting forth Garland, the president is upholding the laws upon which this nation stands and the responsibility of the executive branch in our three-branch system of government. Now it is up to the Senate to do the same, to take its responsibility seriously and give this nominee a fair hearing and an up-or-down vote for confirmation. [3/17/16]

 

NM – Albuquerque Journal Editorial: Senate should conduct Supreme Court hearings But the bottom line is this: Senate Republicans who are in power have the opportunity to do what is right and show an already angry, distrustful population that we indeed are a nation of laws and that the judiciary can and should be above politics. [3/20/16]

 

NM – Sante Fe New Mexican Editorial:Our view: Senate needs to do its job Rather than pick a partisan liberal to incite the Republican Senate, Obama has done something almost surprising in this age of bickering and gridlock. On Wednesday, Obama announced that he is nominating Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland, without question, has outstanding legal credentials, although he must be held to the highest scrutiny — as is customary with any lifetime appointment. [3/16/17]

 

NY – New York Daily News Editorial: Merrick Garland deserves a hearing and a vote: President Obama has nominated a broadly respected, centrist jurist to the Supreme Court In flat-out rejecting within minutes to even consider the nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are breaching their sworn duty, leaving the court with a vacancy for a year or more following Antonin Scalia’s death last month. [3/16/16]

 

NY – Buffalo News Editorial: Senate has a clear obligation to consider Obama’s nominee for Supreme Court It may be politically unpalatable for Republicans to consider a Democratic nominee to replace Scalia, but their obligation is clear: Garland deserves a vote. [3/16/16]

 

NY – El Diario Editorial: The Senate must consider Garland’s nomination President Barack Obama fulfilled his duty of nominating a justice to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace the late Antonin Scalia. Now the Senate has the constitutional duty to “advise and consent.” This doesn’t mean that the Senate is required to accept the White House’s nomination, but it should take it into consideration—meaning, hold hearings and vote on the nominee. [3/16/16]

 

NY – Times Herald-Record Editorial: Give the nominee a hearing and a vote The president nominates, the proponents and opponents speak out, the Senate considers and votes and the nation gets to watch. As President Obama said so eloquently as he nominated Garland, those who lament the divisions so evident in the nation have a chance to help narrow them if they would only follow real precedent and reject partisan politics. [3/17/16]

 

NY – Newsday Editorial: GOP senators dishonor the Supreme Court and themselves The Senate should hold confirmation hearings and vote on the nomination. If Garland loses, then that, too, is how politics properly shapes the court. Instead, McConnell refuses to even meet Garland. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, was more insulting. “I can barely schedule a call with my son’s math teacher yesterday, so probably no,” Blunt said. [3/16/16]

 

OH – Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial: Reject Supreme Court gridlock, senators President Obama nominated a moderate replacement last week in Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Enquirer editorial board urges Portman, who’s up for re-election, and McConnell to reconsider their opposition to hearings for this nominee who has previously received bipartisan support. [3/20/16]

 

OH – Toledo Blade Editorial: Give judge a hearing, vote If Senator Portman maintains his lockstep partisan obstructionism, Ohio voters will need to keep that in mind this Election Day. Polls suggest that most Ohioans want the high court vacancy filled this year. There is no reason to link a Senate vote to the outcome of the presidential election. [3/18/16]

 

OH – Columbus Dispatch Editorial: GOP blunders on nomination Senate Republicans, such as Ohio’s Rob Portman, have advanced the argument that the voters of the United States should decide who should be nominated to the Supreme Court through their vote for president in November. But that’s exactly the decision the voters made three Novembers ago when they elected Obama to a four-year term, which continues until January. [3/20/16]

 

OH – Star Beacon Editorial: Garland should get a hearing There is absolutely no reason for the Senate not to have hearings on Merrick Garland, who President Obama nominated to the Supreme Court Wednesday.  Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, just last week essentially dared Obama to nominate Garland, saying the president “could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man,” under the assumption Obama was going to nominate an unconfirmable liberal rather than a well-respected jurist with bipartisan support. [3/17/16]

 

OR – Register-Guard Editorial: Garland deserves a vote Neither the Constitution nor the Federalist Papers mentions an election-­year exception — a point that ought to matter to admirers of Scalia, a leading proponent of the idea that government should adhere to the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Senate Republicans’ problem is not with Garland, but with Obama. The Senate, including a majority of Republicans, confirmed Garland to the appeals court in 1997 by a 76-23 vote. [3/17/16]

 

OR - Albany Democrat-Herald Editorial: Senate GOP runs big risk over court Regardless of what you may think of Merrick Garland, the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals chief judge who was nominated this week to the U.S. Supreme Court, you have to give him credit for taking on an unusually tough gig. [3/19/16]

 

OR – Statesman Journal Editorial: Winners, losers in the news Now the U.S. Senate should heed its constitutional obligation, hold hearings on Garland’s nomination, and either approve or reject him as the nation’s 113th Supreme Court justice. [3/17/16]

 

PA – York Dispatch Editorial:Do your jobs Garland has long been equally praised by Republicans and Democrats. But building consensus in this contentious political climate of hardline partisan political entrenchment is the last thing that Republicans in the Senate appear to want. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his party overwhelmingly plan to deny confirmation hearings for any Supreme Court nominee put forth by Obama. Among those obstructing the process is Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. [3/20/16]

 

PA – The Daily Item Editorial:‘The course of human events’ When in the course of human events the president has fulfilled his constitutional duty by nominating a judge to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, it also is the constitutional duty of the U.S. Senate to meet with the nominee, hold hearings, deliberate and vote for or against confirmation. [3/18/16]

 

PA – Scranton Times-Triune Editorial: Toomey must do his job There is no valid reason, based on merit, to prevent Judge Garland from succeeding the late Justice Antonin Scalia. But Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell, having woefully failed in his stated objective of making Mr. Obama a one-term president, are trying to invalidate the last year of Mr. Obama’s second term by creating the longest Supreme Court vacancy in history. The Republican National Committee actually has established a “war room” to denigrate Judge Garland as if he were a political candidate. Expect a flurry of negative ads. Mr. Toomey should extract himself from this obstructionist strategy and exercise leadership in behalf of the country by advocating an open and honest confirmation process. [3/17/16]

 

PA - Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial: Politics wrong scale to weigh Obama, Christie nominees The stakes are too high to treat the appointment of a Supreme Court justice like a game of poker. Garland should be granted a fair hearing because that is the Senate's constitutional role in this process. Regardless of Obama's political motives, he has nominated someone who appears to be strongly suited for the position. [3/17/16]

 

PA – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial: Do your duty: The Senate must set a hearing for Judge Garland President Barack Obama did his duty under the Constitution by submitting to the Senate his nominee — Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The Senate, despite its Republican leaders’ vow to do otherwise, must now perform its role and take up the appointment. [3/17/17]

 

PA - Daily Times Editorial: Obama Supreme Court nominee puts pressure on Republicans President Obama has done his job in nominating a respected, experienced centrist judge as the nation’s 113th Supreme Court justice. Now it is up to Senate Republicans to do their job and give him a hearing. [3/17/16]

 

PA  - Citizens Voice Editorial:Worthy nominee deserves Senate consideration President Barack Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court of eminently qualified federal appellate Judge Merrick Garland is sound for the sake of the court. But it also further illuminates the blind political obstruction of Senate Republicans who have vowed to ignore any nomination. They include Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, who seeks re-election while belligerently refusing to do his job. [3/17/16]

 

SC – Post and Courier Editorial: Give Garland fair consideration Sen. Graham has previously emphasized that “elections have consequences” — including the power of those who win the presidency to nominate federal judges. And Sen. Graham has frequently emphasized the importance of the Senate giving presidential judicial nominees fair consideration. Judge Garland deserves that much. So does the Constitution. [3/17/16]

 

TN – Decatur Daily Editorial: GOP should quit stalling on High Court candidate's hearings The path forward for the Senate, and for the country, is to schedule hearings and weigh the merits of Merrick Garland to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. That’s what the Constitution requires. [3/21/16]

 

TX – Houston Chronicle Editorial: Cornyn's next move "We need to get a fresh start." That's what U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said in 2005 when Democrats opposed President George W. Bush's judicial nominations. Today, as President Barack Obama nominates Merrick Garland to fill Antonin Scalia's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, we hope that Cornyn will take his own advice. [3/16/16]

 

TX - Dallas Morning News Editorial: Obama’s done his job, now it’s time for senators to do theirsPresident Barack Obama has done his duty and nominated a qualified federal judge to succeed the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Now it is time for the Senate to do the same. Judge Merrick Garland deserves, as any reasonable nominee deserves, a full hearing and a vote. For the Republicans who control the Senate to do less is to shame themselves and the institution they represent. It is to neglect their duty, insult their president, and weaken this democracy’s faith in justice. It would ultimately weaken the very rule of law. [3/16/16]

 

TX – The Monitor Editorial: US Senate obligated to consider president's Supreme Court nominee In short, Obama is fulfilling his constitutional duty with Garland’s nomination and the Senate must fulfill its duty, as well. To refuse consideration of Garland is to abrogate a fundamental and constitutional Senate duty in favor of politics. [3/17/16]

 

TX – Star-Telegram Editorial: Senate slams a political door on court nominee Does the Constitution contemplate a popular vote as part of the process of filling a Supreme Court seat? No, and the Founders were quite deliberate in that decision. They constructed a court intended to be above the political fray, not subject to popular opinion that might be fleeting and not beholden to either of the other two branches of government. [3/17/16]

 

TX - San Antonio Express-News Editorial: Give high court nominee a hearing Now that President Barack Obama has nominated Merrick B. Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, Republican senators should hold a fair confirmation hearing. And he merits an up-or-down vote. [3/18/16]

 

TX - Corpus Cristi Caller Times Editorial:Abbott, Cornyn, Cruz forsake the Constitution These three Texas Republicans have chosen fealty to a specific desired political outcome over loyalty to the Constitution. The Republicans simply don't want Obama or any Democrat to make that appointment and they are willing to contort the Constitution to do it. [3/20/16]

 

TX - The Monitor Editorial: US Senate obligated to consider president's Supreme Court nominee In short, Obama is fulfilling his constitutional duty with Garland’s nomination and the Senate must fulfill its duty, as well. To refuse consideration of Garland is to abrogate a fundamental and constitutional Senate duty in favor of politics. [3/17/16]

 

TX – The Eagle Editorial:Senate can't shirk its duty on the Merrick Garland nomination It's no wonder senators won't consider the nomination of Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court. They must be exhausted from shirking their duties. It takes a lot of effort to look like you are accomplishing something when, in fact, you aren't. [3/20/16]

 

TX - Brownsville The Herald Editorial: All at fault President Obama still has his job, and with regard to addressing the glaring vacancy on our nation’s highest court, he has done his job. Senators now need to do their job, and give the nomination the attention it deserves — and desperately needs. And both parties need to show more respect for the public’s need for an efficient system of justice, and stop playing games with judicial appointments. [3/20/16]

 

UT - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial: Obama not to blame for Supreme Court stalemate Clearly it is Republicans who have made the nomination process into a toxic, partisan firestorm. Utah's other senator, Mike Lee, has been more on the leading edge of this passive aggressive tactic. Hatch, who is plenty old enough to know better, should be the one to take his more hotheaded colleagues aside and counsel them to show some statesmanship, wait to see who the president nominates, have a hearing and then, if they find the candidate unsuitable, vote accordingly. [3/17/16]

VA – Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial: Senate Republicans, do your job By all accounts, Garland is eminently qualified for the country’s highest court. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch even floated Garland’s name a few days ago: “The president told me several times he’s going to name a moderate, but I don’t believe him,” Hatch said. “He could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man.” Hatch said he expected Obama would instead nominate someone more liberal. [3/16/17]

 

VA – Virginian-Pilot Editorial: Merrick Garland deserves a fair hearing BY ALL ACCOUNTS, Merrick Garland is a talented, experienced, moderate jurist, someone who would be an excellent addition to the U.S. Supreme Court. So it is nothing short of an indictment of today’s politics that he might not receive due consideration by the U.S. Senate. [3/18/16]

 

VT - Caledonian Record Editorial: Clear Voice In the current, toxic, political climate, we have no idea what will happen at the polls. But we do know that Americans get a “voice” every election cycle and most recently used it to say they wanted Obama. Since there’s a vacancy now, and he’s our President, he should get to fill the seat. The Senate should hold hearings straightaway and confirm Judge Garland. [3/20/16]

 

VT – Brattleboro Reformer Editorial: Our Opinion: Obama Supreme Court nominee puts heat on Republicans President Obama has done his job in nominating a respected, experienced centrist judge as the nation's 113th Supreme Court justice. Now it is up to Senate Republicans to do their job and give him a hearing. [3/17/16]

 

WA – Seattle T

Kombiz | 03.29.16 | | Link to this post

Polling Roundup: Panickin’ Time for SCOTUS Obstructionists

The national and swing-state polling is truly overwhelming against the Republican position that Judge Merrick Garland does not deserve a fair hearing or vote, which may be behind now a third Senate Republican breaking ranks and calling for the process to go forward.  And yet, McConnell and Grassley are boldly sticking to their intriguing political strategy of giving up their Senate Majority by ignoring their constitutional responsibility, all in the slim chance phony college proprietor Donald Trump might get to make the pick, which Americans literally have less faith in him to do than Peyton Manning.

According to the survey, 52% say Garland ought to be confirmed, 33% that the Senate should not vote in favor of his nomination. Most Democrats (80%) and a plurality of independents say Garland should be approved (48% vote in favor, 37% against)

[…]

Assessing Garland himself, 45% say they have a positive impression of him so far, 34% are neutral, 14% negative. […]Just 13% say they feel he is not qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, around a quarter say he is among the most qualified candidates out there. A majority, 56%, say that as a Supreme Court justice, he would be "about right" ideologically, more than said so about any other recent nominee. Just 25% say they think he would be too liberal as a justice.

[…]

Most Americans, 57%, say the choice for the next justice should rest with Obama and not with the next president, and a similar majority, 58%, say that senators who believe the seat should be filled by the next president would not be justified in voting against Garland for that reason. […]Congressional approval stands near its all-time low in CNN polling, with just 15% approving. […]Obama's approval rating, meanwhile, stands at its highest point since May 2013.

  • Bloomberg Politics Poll, 3/24: The president’s approval rating among all Americans hit 50 percent in the poll, up six points from November. His favorability rating is up nine points from November and, at 57 percent, at its highest point since December 2009. […] More than half the country -- 54 percent -- approve of his handling of the vacancy left by recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and 62 percent say Republicans in the Senate are wrong not to hold hearings on the nomination.
  • Politico, 3/24: ‘By 2-to-1 margin, Americans want Senate to consider Supreme Court nominee’: By a margin of 2-to-1, American voters say the Senate should consider the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, according to the results of a national Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday. More than six in 10 of the registered voters surveyed nationwide — 62 percent — said the Senate should consider the nomination of Garland, the current chief judge of the D.C. Circuit court. On the other hand, just one in three, or 33 percent, responded that the Senate should not consider any nominee until a new president is in the White House. […] Elsewhere in the survey, Obama earned an approval rating of 49 percent to 48 percent disapproval, his highest level of support in a Quinnipiac poll since May 2013, when his approval stood at 48 percent to 45 percent disapproval.
  • New York Times, 3/22: ‘Majority Says Supreme Court Nominee Deserves a Vote’ : Most Americans say the Senate should vote on whether to confirm Judge Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court, with the large majority of the public viewing Republican leaders’ refusal to do so as politically motivated, the latest CBS News/New York Times poll shows. Fifty-three percent say the Senate should hold a vote on President Obama’s nominee, while 42 percent say the Senate should wait until next year for the new president to nominate someone. […]A wide majority of Americans, moreover – more than seven in 10 – think Senate Republican leaders are refusing to hold hearings mostly for political reasons rather than because they think delay is best for the country. 
  • The Hill, 3/21: ‘Poll: Nearly 8 in 10 think GOP is 'playing politics' on Supreme Court’ : More than three-fourths of Americans say Senate Republicans are "playing politics" by refusing to take up President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, according to a Monmouth University Poll released Monday. […] Overall, 77 percent of Americans say they think Republicans are "playing politics" by not allowing nominee Merrick Garland to get a hearing. That total includes 62 percent of surveyed Republicans. […] Now that Obama has nominated Garland, 69 percent overall said the Senate should give him a hearing, including 56 percent of Republicans. […]Generally, 53 percent of Americans also said they believe the president should nominate someone to fill a vacancy, and the Senate should take up the nomination, even if they occur at the end of a president's term. 

Jimmy | 03.25.16 | | Link to this post

Editorial Board Roundup: “Time For Senate GOP To Do Their Job”

 

Editorial Boards across the country agree: President Obama “did his duty under the Constitution” and has put forward a “superb”, “deeply respected”, “experienced, well-regarded” nominee with “nearly universal admiration”. The President has done his job, it's time for Senate Republicans to stop playing politics and do theirs and give Judge Garland fair consideration for a seat on the Supreme Court

 

New York Times: Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court

If you tried to create the ideal moderate Supreme Court nominee in a laboratory, it would be hard to do better than Judge Merrick Garland. In nominating Judge Garland to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month, President Obama has taken his constitutional duty seriously, choosing a deeply respected federal appellate judge with an outstanding intellect, an impeccable legal record, and the personal admiration of Republicans and Democrats.”

 

Washington Post: Dear GOP: Stop playing politics and give Merrick Garland a confirmation hearing

The case against Mr. Garland — well, there is not much of a case against him. He is unusually well-respected across the ideological spectrum. He worked his way up in the Justice Department as a prosecutor, gaining respect for supervising terrorism cases, before joining the federal bench. He was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 76 to 23 in 1997, and several sitting senators should remember voting for him. One, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), was once quoted as calling him a “consensus nominee.” During his time on the D.C. Circuit, Mr. Garland has gained a reputation for thoughtfulness. He is an ideal nominee in these divided times.”

 

Bloomberg : Merrick Garland Deserves a Hearing

There are at least two criteria on which to judge President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. First are his qualifications. Second is the ideological space that he would occupy on a polarized court in a polarized political environment. Garland is a superb choice on both counts.”

 

USA Today: Give Judge Garland a hearing

Neither side comes to this fight with clean hands. But blocking consideration of a Supreme Court nominee, one who appears to have impeccable credentials and fall within the broad judicial mainstream, for almost an entire year will only invite similar retribution when the situation is reversed. Garland deserves better. The country deserves better.”

 

Los Angeles Times: Senate Republicans' refusal to consider Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination is dangerous obstructionism

The stubborn refusal of Senate Republicans to consider any Supreme Court nominee offered by President Obama would be outrageous, regardless of whom the president selected to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia. But Obama's announcement Wednesday that he will nominate Merrick Garland, a moderate federal appeals court judge who has won bipartisan praise during a long and distinguished legal career, puts the Republicans' irresponsibility and cheap partisanship in even starker relief.”

 

Arizona

Anniston Star: Credentials of a worthy nominee

“In 2005 after John Roberts was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush, this space noted he was a jurist with a keen intellect and an open mind. “This is a man who in the best traditions of the Supreme Court will grow on the job,” we wrote. We could say the same of Merrick B. Garland, the federal judge nominated by President Barack Obama on Wednesday to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.”

 

California  

San Jose Mercury News: Garland is superb court nominee

Merrick Garland is a superb nomination by President Obama to fill Justice Antonin Scalia's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit is a moderate who is widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans for his integrity, judgment, intellect and basic decency. It would be irresponsible for Republicans in the U.S. Senate to withhold consideration of Garland's nomination for strictly political reasons.”

Ventura County Star: Republicans should not play politics with Supreme Court nominee

President Barack Obama has named an eminently qualified and highly respected judge, Merrick Garland, as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. If you read his background, if you look at the legal opinions he has written in the 18 years he has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, you will find him to be a good person with a great legal mind. He is a nominee that meets all of our criteria for someone who will raise the legal and intellectual level of the Supreme Court.”

Press Democrat: Obama did his duty; the Senate should too

By nominating Judge Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, President Barack Obama fulfilled his constitutional obligation. It’s time for the U.S. Senate to do the same. Garland, the chief judge of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, deserves a confirmation hearing and a vote.”

Sacramento Bee : Obstructionist McConnell stiffs a qualified nominee

President Barack Obama fulfilled his constitutional obligation Wednesday by nominating an obviously well-qualified jurist to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reacted by restating his intransigent stand that the Republican-controlled Senate would not deign to meet with the nominee, Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court for the D.C. circuit, the nation’s most prestigious appellate court.”

 

Colorado

Denver Post: Senate should give Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing

This is the final year of Obama's presidency and Republican senators have insisted they will not hold hearings on any nominee. Yet even if they stick to that pledge — and they likely will — the nomination of Merrick Garland ought to give them pause. It ought to give them pause if for no other reason than the fact that their party appears headed toward the potentially disastrous choice of Donald Trump as presidential nominee, a candidate who will be a difficult sell to the general electorate.”

 

Delaware

Delaware News Journal: Court obstructionism nothing but bluster

Elected officials like McConnell and Vitter say they’re beholden to the best interests of the American people. If, through hearings, it emerged that Merrick Garland was not fit for the highest court in our land, we would be the first to thank legislators like McConnell and Vitter for shining a light on the President’s erroneous nomination. But, by refusing to do their jobs, McConnell, Vitter and the other obstructionists are serving only to get their names engraved on some sort of monument to bluster.”

 

Florida

Tampa Bay Times: U.S. Senate should hold hearings, vote on court pick

President Barack Obama has fulfilled his constitutional obligation by nominating an experienced, well-regarded appeals court judge to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Now the Senate should do its job by holding hearings and voting on whether to confirm Judge Merrick Garland. Senate Republicans who continue to act as obstructionists and ignore the president's nomination for political reasons are eroding public confidence in the legal system and abdicating their constitutional responsibility.”

Sun Sentinel: Fairly evaluate Supreme Court nominee — now

Let's remind the Senate that there's another principle here — the principle of doing the job you were elected to do, the job you are paid to do. And part of that job is to fulfill the Senate's duty to advise and consent — or not consent, but at least debate — on presidential nominations for the Supreme Court…Obama is asking for a fair hearing, and an up-or-down vote on Garland. Garland deserves it. Americans deserve it.”

Tampa Tribune: Senate misplays its hand

Obama has boxed Senate President Mitch McConnell and his colleagues in with the nomination of Garland, a well-regarded moderate judge who is a strong law-and-order advocate. At 63 he is older than most court nominees, which looks to be a calculated concession to Republicans by Obama. Garland earned a reputation as an aggressive prosecutor and astutely supervised the Justice Department’s response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing before being appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where his legal acumen is highly regarded…If McConnell and GOP senators want to block Obama’s nomination, they should have the courage of their convictions and vote this obviously qualified candidate down, which is their right. If not, they are going to come off looking like whiny obstructionists to Americans not blinded by partisanship.

Iowa


Daily Nonpareil: Our View: Grassley must allow Supreme Court nominee hearing

President Barack Obama has exercised his constitutional responsibility by nominating a judge, Merrick Garland, to the Supreme Court, following the death of Antonin Scalia. Now, it’s the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to hold a confirmation hearing to determine his fate. Unfortunately, Iowa’s own Sen. Chuck Grassley has once again put his foot down, declaring the Senate Republicans won’t hold a hearing, much less a vote. His willful insistence on leaving a vacancy on the Supreme Court will, in essence, neuter the court for a year…Again, we call on Grassley to stop playing political games and holding the judicial system hostage over partisan demands. Barring a qualified nominee on such grounds is not only an insult to him but to all Americans, who are represented by a court that should have nine justices at all times.”

 

Illinois

Chicago Tribune: Vote him up or down, but vote: Merrick Garland, on the merits

In nominating Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama on Wednesday praised the Illinois native as a judge "widely recognized not only as one of America's sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even-handedness and excellence." Over nearly two decades of service on a federal court of appeals, Garland has won nearly universal admiration.

Journal Star: Will GOP prove that judicial confirmation process is 'beyond repair'?

“It’s a shame that a fundamentally decent man is about to become a victim of indecent politics. By virtually all accounts, President Obama’s nominee to fill the Scalia vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, is eminently qualified. A majority of Senate Republicans said so themselves in 1997 when he was confirmed to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, where he has served since and now is the chief judge. Seven of those Republicans remain in the chamber, including Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who recently expressed his admiration for Garland in predicting — wrongly, as it turns out — that Obama would pick someone far more liberal.”

 

Massachusetts

Berkshire Eagle: Our Opinion: Obama Supreme Court nominee puts heat on Republicans

President Obama has done his job in nominating a respected, experienced centrist judge as the nation's 113th Supreme Court justice. Now it is up to Senate Republicans to do their job and give him a hearing. In nominating Merrick B. Garland, a well-known appeals court judge who is highly respected in Washington, the president has put the pressure squarely on the Republicans, who immediately politicized the death of Justice Antonin Scalia by declaring that they would not conduct hearings on the president's nominee, let alone take a vote. This would put them in clear violation of their responsibilities as outlined in the Constitution, a document Republicans claim to cherish except for when they find it inconvenient.”

 

Boston Herald: High court gamble

President Obama’s Supreme Court pick shows both a level of seriousness about the work of the court and the confirmation process — and his unerring political instinct in finding a nominee Republicans should be ashamed to deny a fair hearing.”

 

Maryland 

Baltimore Sun: The man in the middle

What are the consequences of ignoring Judge Garland from now until the next president is sworn into office 10 months from now? For starters, it could hand control of the Senate over to the Democrats. Make no mistake, no previous Supreme Court nominee has been threatened with such ill-considered treatment, not with 311 days left in a president's term. Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in 1988 just 84 days after he was nominated during the last year of Ronald Reagan's second term. Polls show a majority of Americans want the Senate to act on Mr. Obama's nominee even before knowing who that would be. The adverse implications for the handful of Republican senators running in Democratic-leaning states are likely to be substantial.”

 

Michigan

Detroit News: Senate should give Garland a hearing

Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge with indisputable credentials and a reputation as a centrist, is as good as the Republican Senate can expect from a Democratic president. Actually, he’s much better than they expected. Sen. Orin Hatch, chair of the Judiciary Committee, just last week said Garland was the type of nominee Obama should submit, but predicted he wouldn’t… McConnell should bow to the qualifications of this nominee, give him a hearing and judge his appointment on the merits, not on politics.”

 

Missouri

St. Louis Post Dispatch : Sen. Blunt should give Supreme Court nominee a fair hearing

Obstructionist GOP senators are vowing to block President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick B. Garland to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Voters should watch closely whether Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt treats this nomination with the respect and seriousness it deserves or gives priority to partisan maneuvering.”

 

Kansas City Star: Obama’s solid Supreme Court choice exposes GOP senators as obstructionist puppets

President Barack Obama has acted in the spirit of compromise with his choice of Merrick B. Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Republicans will expose themselves as naked obstructionists if they refuse to follow suit and hold hearings. Garland is a universally respected centrist judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit… Blunt and other GOP senators in competitive races will have trouble justifying their obstruction to a public that wants to see fair play in Washington. Senators who would rig the confirmation process to try to allow Trump, the likely Republican presidential nominee, the chance to choose the next Supreme Court justice are out of sync with the nation’s best interests.”

 

New Hampshire

Concord Monitor: The game is clear, so let’s not pretend

But Ayotte is no longer taking a stand for the American people, as she claims; she is blocking a hearing for a judge who is widely respected among Republicans and Democrats alike, and obstructing the proper function of the U.S. Supreme Court.”

 

New Mexico

Santa Fe New Mexican: Our view: Senate needs to do its job

Rather than pick a partisan liberal to incite the Republican Senate, Obama has done something almost surprising in this age of bickering and gridlock. On Wednesday, Obama announced that he is nominating Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland, without question, has outstanding legal credentials, although he must be held to the highest scrutiny — as is customary with any lifetime appointment… That’s unnecessary. A presidential term is four, not three years. The president just did his job and made a thoughtful, qualified nomination for the court. Now, it’s up to the Senate to stop playing politics and do its job.”

 

North Carolina

Charlotte Observer: High court pick deserves a fair hearing

In Merrick Garland, President Obama has nominated an eminently qualified jurist for the nation’s highest court. As the well-respected chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – commonly called the nation’s second highest court – one could argue that Garland is the most qualified jurist Obama could have picked.”


Raleigh News & Observer: Obama offers a worthy nominee, now Senate must do its job

Judge Merrick Garland, a Chicago native, qualifies on all counts and deserves to be confirmed by the United States Senate to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. That Garland might be denied not only a seat but even a hearing after his nomination by President Obama would be an outrage. It would be an affront not just to Obama, whom Republican leaders have vowed to stymie at every turn, but to the Constitution. The president is charged with filling vacancies on the Supreme Court, and Obama, with almost a year left in his term, is doing his duty.”

 

Nebraska 

Omaha World-Herald: Senate’s past offers lesson

The Constitution says presidents “shall nominate” Supreme Court justices, who are approved “with the advice and consent of the Senate.” Yet Senate GOP leaders this year want to wait until after the November election and refuse to even meet with, much less vote on, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. … The important thing is to allow a vote to be held — regardless of whether the outcome is approval or disapproval. Otherwise, the Senate sends the disappointing message that it’s failed to learn a needed lesson from the recent past.”

 

Ohio

Star Beacon: Garland should get a hearing

There is absolutely no reason for the Senate not to have hearings on Merrick Garland, who President Obama nominated to the Supreme Court Wednesday.  Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, just last week essentially dared Obama to nominate Garland, saying the president “could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man,” under the assumption Obama was going to nominate an unconfirmable liberal rather than a well-respected jurist with bipartisan support.”

 

Oregon 

Register-Guard: Garland deserves a vote

Neither the Constitution nor the Federalist Papers mentions an election-­year exception — a point that ought to matter to admirers of Scalia, a leading proponent of the idea that government should adhere to the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Senate Republicans’ problem is not with Garland, but with Obama. The Senate, including a majority of Republicans, confirmed Garland to the appeals court in 1997 by a 76-23 vote… Obama has shown respect for the Republican majority by nominating a highly regarded judge the GOP has supported in the past. It’s now the Senate’s job to hold hearings on the nomination and schedule a timely vote. The Supreme Court needs a full complement of nine justices to avoid a year of gridlock on important cases.”

 

Pennsylvania  

Scranton Times-Tribune: Toomey must do his job

There is no valid reason, based on merit, to prevent Judge Garland from succeeding the late Justice Antonin Scalia. But Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell, having woefully failed in his stated objective of making Mr. Obama a one-term president, are trying to invalidate the last year of Mr. Obama’s second term by creating the longest Supreme Court vacancy in history. The Republican National Committee actually has established a “war room” to denigrate Judge Garland as if he were a political candidate. Expect a flurry of negative ads. Mr. Toomey should extract himself from this obstructionist strategy and exercise leadership in behalf of the country by advocating an open and honest confirmation process.”

 

Philadelphia Inquirer: Politics wrong scale to weigh Obama, Christie nominees

The stakes are too high to treat the appointment of a Supreme Court justice like a game of poker. Garland should be granted a fair hearing because that is the Senate's constitutional role in this process. Regardless of Obama's political motives, he has nominated someone who appears to be strongly suited for the position.”

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Do your duty: The Senate must set a hearing for Judge Garland

President Barack Obama did his duty under the Constitution by submitting to the Senate his nominee — Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The Senate, despite its Republican leaders’ vow to do otherwise, must now perform its role and take up the appointment… If Republican senators, including Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, refuse to do their duty, voters will hold them responsible.”

 

Texas

Dallas Morning News: Obama’s done his job, now it’s time for senators to do theirs

President Barack Obama has done his duty and nominated a qualified federal judge to succeed the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Now it is time for the Senate to do the same. Judge Merrick Garland deserves, as any reasonable nominee deserves, a full hearing and a vote. For the Republicans who control the Senate to do less is to shame themselves and the institution they represent. It is to neglect their duty, insult their president, and weaken this democracy’s faith in justice. It would ultimately weaken the very rule of law.”

 

Virginia

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Senate Republicans, do your job

By all accounts, Garland is eminently qualified for the country’s highest court. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch even floated Garland’s name a few days ago: “The president told me several times he’s going to name a moderate, but I don’t believe him,” Hatch said. “He could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man.” Hatch said he expected Obama would instead nominate someone more liberal.”

 

Washington 

Herald Net: Senate Republicans hiding behind the ‘Biden rule’

Never mind that Biden was making reference to a hypothetical vacancy on the court, one that was rumored but didn't occur that year. Never mind that as judiciary chairman, Biden made certain that every actual Supreme Court nomination presented to him got a hearing, a committee vote and a floor vote.”

 

Wisconsin 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Senate must do its job and give Merrick Garland a hearing 

Now that President Barack Obama has done his job and nominated Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, Sen. Ron Johnson and his fellow Republicans in the Senate need to do theirs and give the nominee a hearing. GOP senators, including Johnson, have said the next appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the next president of the United States. They're wrong on that. The people elected Obama to a full four-year term in 2012, not a three-year term. He is still the president with obligations to fulfill, and he's fulfilling them. The Senate should do the same.”

 

Blake Williams | 03.17.16 | | Link to this post

New Polls Signal Bad News for Battleground Senators in SCOTUS Fight

A quartet of new polls from Public Policy Polling show that the fight between the White House and Senate Republicans over filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court could have devastating consequences for some vulnerable Senators in November. A strong majority of respondents in New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin agreed that the Senate should, at the very least, consider President Obama's nominee for the seat.

Furthermore, refusing to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice would make most respondents in each state LESS likely to vote for their respective incumbent Senators in 2016. For Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, and Ron Johnson, Republican Senators in purple states, this is obviously very bad news.

But the bleeding doesn't stop there. PPP also measured the approval of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell, who has been the champion of this SCOTUS obstruction since just 2 hours after Justice Scalia's passing was announced. The results? Not good: In New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin, McConnell's approval rating is just 14% -- in Pennsylvania it's actually worse at 13%.

Ayotte, Portman, Toomey, and Johnson were all very quick to embrace and amplify the Senate Majority Leader's staunch position. It is yet to be seen how endorsing Constitutional ignorance will impact them on election day, but if these numbers stick, it will hurt way more than it helps.

View the polling results memos from Public Policy Polling's Tom Jensen here: OH/PA and NH/WI

Jimmy | 02.24.16 | | Link to this post

Ed Board Round-Up: Do Your Job Senate GOP


It took only a couple hours for the death of a sitting Supreme Court Justice to become a political volleyball, spiked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's declaration that the "vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

Maybe Mitch McConnell isn't totally aware of the Presidential and Senatorial duties laid out in the Constitution. Maybe he doesn't know how long a presidential term is. (Here, Mitch, we have a video that explains the whole thing!)

But Editorial Boards from across the country know how it works, and they're pissed. Here's what America is saying about Senate Republicans' deliberate obstruction of process on Supreme Court nominees:

Miami Herald: Sen. Mitch McConnell's act of contempt

There is no point in decrying the politicization of the judicial system in recent times. That ship sailed long ago. But it's one thing for lawmakers explicitly tasked by the Constitution to offer "advice and consent" to nominees for "judges of the Supreme Court" (Art. II, Sec. 2) to decide against someone for any reason, or none at all - and quite another to say they're not disposed to consider anyone named by the sitting president.

Madison Cap Times: Ron Johnson and GOP Candidates assault the Constitution

Yet Republican senators responded to the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia by proposing to shred not just the Constitution but precedents that date from the earliest years of the American experiment.
...
That would leave a vital position vacant for a year, which is absurd.

Of course, there is no notion too absurd for Johnson, who quickly echoed his boss. 

NJ Star-Ledger: Republicans shouldn't play chicken with SCOTUS seat

This tramples on the Constitution that Antonin Scalia - the conservative diety who died Saturday - lived to defend. It also shows that GOP Senators, who have turned obstructionism into a dark art, would rather rewrite that Constitution than affirm their oath to uphold it.

Concord Monitor: In high court fight, Ayotte is just wrong

Ayotte's hastily issued statement, echoing what is now her party's line, says no decision should be made until the people speak by voting in November. But the people had their say when they re-elected Obama and when, in this case, they voted for Ayotte. She is not expresing the will of her constituents but the will of her party.

Philly Inquirer: Antonin Scalia and the limits of ideology

Rejecting or ignoring a qualified nominee would be much more difficult and potentially embarrassing to the Senate than claiming that some time-honored maxim won't allow it to fulfill its constitutional obligation until next year.

Chicago Sun-Times: Support Supreme Court hearings, Sen. Kirk

There are times in politics when, no matter what you decide, you're going to get hammered. For Kirk, this is one of those times. He might just as well be a statesman.

WV Register-Herald: Playing games with court vacancy

Thank you, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for once again confirming our worst fears about politics in our country. Your hypocrisy and cynicism know no retreat. But we would remind you, Senator, that the American people did have a voice. Twice.

Seattle Times: U.S. Senate needs to do its job on Supreme Court nomination

Thomas Jefferson and Scalia would've snapped their foreheads at the "delay, delay, delay" tactic endorsed by the leading GOP nominee for president, Donald Trump - which is itself a head-slapper of a phrase.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinal: President Barack Obama, Senate should do their duty

As much as Republicans may wish it were not so, the Constitution still says that presidents serve four years - not three - and it remains silent on when a president becomes a "lame duck."

Greensboro News & Record: Supreme opposition

Someone could just as credibly argue that Burr, who's running for re-election this year, should leave important votes to whomever the people of North Carolina choose for his seat in November. But that's absurd. Burr was elected to a full term; so was Obama.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Both Obama, Senate must do their duty in filling Scalia's seat

McConnell knows well that presidents can and do make appointments in their final year. He voted for one in 1988, when he joined with a Democratic Senate to confirm Anthony Kennedy in President Reagan's last year in office.

Omaha World-Herald: Constitution sets the process

Originalism is a sprawling set of legal theories with all kinds of ramifications that should be considered carefully. But one need not embrace the theory to understand the Constitution's succinct and straightforward language about filling Supreme Court vacancies.

Fargo InForum: Get moving on high court nominee

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution is clear:

"... and he shall nominate, and by the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint... Judges of the supreme Court..."

Shall nominate. Shall appoint.

 

Jimmy | 02.17.16 | | Link to this post

Yo, Mitch McConnell - Care to explain?

Via The Washington Post's Paul Waldman, this 1970 law review article by future Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has some very strong opinions about how the Senate should handle confirming nominees for the Supreme Court:

Here's the relevant section (emphasis Paul's)

What standard then can be drawn for the Senate from the experiences of the past year in advising and consenting to Presidential nominations to the Supreme Court? They have been set out above but should be reiterated in conclusion. At the outset, the Senate should discount the philosophy of the nominee. In our politically centrist society, it is highly unlikely that any Executive would nominate a man of such extreme views of the right of the left as to be disturbing to the Senate. However, a nomination, for example, of a Communist or a member of the American Nazi Parly, would have to be considered an exception to the recommendation that the Senate leave ideological considerations to the discretion of the Executive. Political and philosophical considerations were often a factor in the nineteenth century and arguably in the Parker, Haynsworth and Carswell cases also, but this is not proper and tends to degrade the Court and dilute the constitutionally proper authority of the Executive in this area. The President is presumably elected by the people to carry out a program and altering the ideological directions of the Supreme Court would seem to be a perfectly legitimate part of a Presidential platform. To that end, the Constitution gives to him the power to nominate. As mentioned earlier, if the power to nominate had been given to the Senate, as was considered during the debates at the Constitutional Convention, then it would be proper for the Senate to consider political philosophy. The proper role of the Senate is to advise and consent to the particular nomination, and thus, as the Constitution puts it, "to appoint."

This would obviously fly right in the face of McConnell's remarks on Saturday immediately following the news of the tragic passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, where he said "this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

Top image via Getty

Jimmy | 02.15.16 | | Link to this post

Our 2015 Favorites

Here's a sampling of some of our favorite stories and content from 2015.

  • We call the Republicans' bluff to shut down DHS in order to deport 12 million people

  • Speaker Boehner (miss ya!) and House Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare - AGAIN. This reminds us of something...

  • We call out the 23 Congressional Republicans who joined the march in Selma... but refuse to co-sponsor the restoration of the Voting Rights Act

  • 47 Republican Senators signed a letter to Iran's leaders with the intention to derail nuclear discussions, so we (with some help from the nation's newspapers) wrote our own letter to those Senators.
  • Senator (and amateur presidential candidate) Rand Paul endears himself to women across America by shushing a female interviewer during an appearance on CNBC

  • Our friends at NextGen hit Scott Walker in his home state for being the ultimate Koch puppet
  • Our TV Ad, "Rare Incidents," exposing Big Oil's indifference to the frequency of oil spills on the 5 year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion
  • In the wake of yet another mass shooting in America, President Obama demands action on gun violence

  • We previewed the climate change fight of the summer - The Pope vs. The Kochs
  • Republican war hawks try to derail the Iran Nuclear Deal, and we hit the airwaves to stop them
  • #TBT to when these two kids were the best of friends.

  • Dick Cheney tells the folks at FOX News that he "was right about Iraq." People were shocked, but it was nothing new for Dick.
  • During a GOP Debate, Jeb Bush declares his brother "kept us safe" during his tenure as president. Um... no. (Jeb didn't like this ad. He responded himself.)
  • Scott Walker, union-buster and Koch Brothers darling, drops out of the race for president FIRST.

  • For some reason, Bill Kristol defended the Empire from Star Wars.

  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi demands Congress lift the ban on gun violence research.

  • Republicans haven't stopped their all-out, ignorant assault on climate science since our last installment of the #NotAScientist video series.

 

Happy New Year!

Jimmy | 12.31.15 | | Link to this post

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