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Democrats Launch New Push For Obama U.S. Supreme Court Nominee

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Democrats Launch New Push For Obama U.S. Supreme Court Nominee

Merrick Garland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Supporters of Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court selection, on Tuesday launched a new push to persuade the Republican-led Senate to act on the nomination before the Nov. 8 presidential election, but their calls fell on deaf ears.

With senators returning to work after a seven-week summer recess, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid called the refusal of Republicans to consider Garland’s nomination “disgusting and repugnant.”

“Republicans have deadlocked our entire system of justice because of the Republican Senate’s dysfunction,” Reid said.

Obama’s nomination of the moderate appeals court judge has been pending without action for 174 days, longer than any other Supreme Court nominee in U.S. history.

The U.S. Constitution gives the Senate the job of confirming a president’s judicial nominees. In a move with little precedent in American history, Republicans led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have refused to take any action on Obama’s nominee, insisting that Obama’s successor make the pick.

“The Senate is returning from the longest recess in nearly half a century, and perhaps the Republican leadership was hoping that Americans had forgotten about the unprecedented obstruction of a Supreme Court nominee,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

We Need Nine, a White House-allied group, will hold a news conference in front of the Supreme Court building on Wednesday with Democratic senators and lawyers who previously worked as clerks for Garland.

Republicans sounded unconvinced.

McConnell “has been crystal clear for the last seven months,” an aide to the senator said on Tuesday. “The next president will select the nominee.”

The nine-seat court has been one justice short since the February death of long-serving conservative Antonin Scalia. With four liberals and four conservatives now on the bench, an appointment by a Democratic president could end decades of conservative domination on the court.

The White House has called Garland’s confirmation a top priority for the legislative work period that began on Tuesday and ends in early October.

In remarks last month, Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley indicated he could be persuaded by a large number of senators to take action on Garland in a “lame duck” session immediately after the election. His panel would hold any confirmation hearings.

Some conservatives worry that if Democrat Hillary Clinton defeats Republican Donald Trump in the election, she would nominate someone more liberal than Garland.

But in a statement on Tuesday, Grassley reiterated that “the next president should choose Justice Scalia’s replacement” and said his meetings with home-state voters during the recess “only bolstered the point that Iowans should have the opportunity to have a voice in the direction of the Supreme Court for the next 40 years.”

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley. Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan)

Photo: U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland walks after a breakfast with Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Capitol Hill Washington, April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas



  1. Insinnergy September 7, 2016

    It’s highly amusing to watch the “Party of the Constitution” completely ignore the Constitution and refuse to do their jobs purely so they can gain/hold on to Political/Judicial power.

    The extra irony is supplied through the fact that the Justice they are avoiding replacing was a strict Constitutionalist and is no doubt spinning in his grave so fast at McConnell’s hypocrisy you could use him to power all of DC.

    Here’s a simple question to help work out if McConnell’s position is Constitutional.

    Can the Senate Majority Leader decide to stop doing the tasks/roles mandated in the actual wording of the Constitution for as long as he likes, based on his own criteria? It’s entirely possible he might decide not to allow the next president a nominee… Or the one after that… if he, personally, does not like the people they nominate.
    When the shoe is on the other foot… will the Republicans just not mind at all when a Democratic senate refuses their nominees for the Supreme Court?

    1. Insinnergy September 7, 2016

      I guess this adds to the deeper irony within the GOP of proclaiming the US Democracy the “Greatest Democracy in the World” while trying to suppress and block American citizens from voting.

      Or constantly agitating for fiscally responsible smaller government while agreeing to Bush the Dumber’s Medicaid expansion to buy votes, starting wars without taxation to pay for them, and trying to get around the “fiscally responsible” agreement to cap spending across the board by trying to feed the Pentagon additional billions of dollars by using an accounting cheat through their war funding account…

      Or on an even deeper level: calling themselves Christians and using religion as a policy justification, whilst worshiping greed and wealth, and hating the sick and the poor…

      I’m constantly surprised they don’t die of extreme cognitive dissonance.


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