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

Thursday, March 17


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.”



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.”



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.”



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 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.”



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.


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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”


Posted by Blake Williams


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