With Nominee Selected, the Senate Must Act

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Scott Swenson 202 736-5713

Dale Eisman, 202 736-5788

With Nominee Selected, the Senate Must Act

Garland-Kennedy Countdown Clock Will Track Progress of Nomination

WASHINGTON - Statement by Common Cause President Miles Rapoport

Justice Scalia’s death left the President and the Senate with a constitutionally-required duty to nominate and confirm a successor and return the court to full strength. With today’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama has done his job; we expect the Senate to do its job by fairly reviewing Judge Garland’s record and qualifications and promptly voting on his nomination.

Judge Garland has a record of service as a federal prosecutor, a senior Justice Department official and for the last 19 years as a federal circuit judge. Senators from both parties met with and vetted him, and a three-fourths majority voted for his confirmation.

Now, Sen. McConnell’s obstructionist leadership means the Senate is refusing to do its job and give the President’s nominee a fair hearing and a fair vote. Senators who refuse to consider the President’s nominee are failing the American people. They are obstacles to progress and are not only snubbing the judge and the President, they’re shirking their sworn duty to “support and defend the Constitution” and “faithfully discharge the duties” of their offices. If employees don’t do their jobs, they get fired. Common Cause says unequivocally, Senate, Do Your Job!

We are 32 days past the death of Justice Scalia and President Obama has 311 days left in office. In a similar situation, but with the parties reversed, a Democratic majority in the Senate confirmed Justice Anthony Kennedy in 1988, 84 days after his nomination by President Reagan. The vote was 97-0.

More than 35,000 Americans have visited senatedoyourjob.org to learn where their senators stand and demand that the Senate do its job.

Today senatedoyourjob.org introduces the Garland-Kennedy Countdown Clock to track the days until this Senate acts in the same way the Senate acted in 1988 by confirming Justice Kennedy.  The countdown starts at 84, giving the Senate until June 8, 2016 to beat or match its 1988 record on Justice Kennedy.

Anything less will be an affront to the court, the Constitution, and the voters.

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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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