The Senate's refusal to even consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland has gone from outrageous to outright ridiculous. Earlier this week, Senate Judiacy Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and the Supreme Court nominee met for breakfast.* By all accounts it was a pleasant meeting, which the senator even Instagramed a photo.** But instead of taking the measure of the man and scheduling a hearing on his nomination, Grassley said he'd only come to explain in person that he would never even consider the nomination - ever.***
Leading Republicans like Grassley and Mitch McConnell should grant Garland the courtesy of a hearing and then vote not to confirm him (if they really believe he's not qualified) -- instead they're behaving like an action movie villain by explaining their evil plan to deny democracy at the start, and then giving us every opportunity to foil their evil plan. If you're ready to be a hero, click here to tell the Senate to fulfill their Constitutional duty and give Garland a hearing and a vote now: Tell the Senate #DoYourJob!
Drew and the SCOTUS crew at Environmental Action
PS - Anthony's original email is below in case you want more background on Garland and the nomination process thus far.
* Emmarie Huetteman, Meeting With Merrick Garland, G.O.P. Senators Take Long Time to Say No, The New York Timesm, April 14, 2016
** Senator Chuck Grassley's instagam acount
*** Gary Legum, The GOP’s pathetic SCOTUS games: Why its Merrick Garland obstruction just got even more embarrassing, April 13, 2016
Article 2 Section 2 of our Constitution clearly states that the President shall have the power to nominate judges to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).1 The Constitution also stipulates that the Senate shall advise and provide consent for the President's nominations. But don't tell that to Senate Majority Leader Mitch "King Coal" McConnell who has directed GOP Senators not to even meet with President Obama's nominee Judge Merrick Garland.2
McConnell is even making up rules to rationalize his "talk to the hand" approach our third co-equal branch of government.3 He claims to believe that the American people should have a vote in the selection of the next Justice, and that we should therefore wait until AFTER the next Presidential election. But here's the thing, as Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) pointed out, the American people HAVE made their choice, when they elected President Obama in 2008 and again in 2012.4
If McConnell and his friends have their way, our SCOTUS will essentially remain a Penalty Killing Unity for over 300 days, and major cases that have huge implications for our climate and natural resources will be put on hold -- time our climate and environment simply don't have. That's why we're teaming up with Daily Kos, Courage Campaign, American Federation of Teachers and others to demand Judge Garland get a fair hearing. Click here to tell the Senate to fulfill their Constitutional duty and fill the vacant SCOTUS seat now.
This is another case of our broken Legislative Branch playing politics instead of working in the public interest. When you consider the important cases hanging in the balance -- from the Clean Power Plan and the Mercury Rule to the future of climate Justice -- this is no time to be playing games. Judge Garland has already been confirmed by the Senate for his job on the D.C. circuit Court, just one level below the Supreme Court. And even a close colleague of McConnell's, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) once said that, "there was no question that Garland could be confirmed to SCOTUS."5
Never in the history of our nation has SCOTUS not been in full capacity for 300 days. This is no time to be making history, there are far too many things that demand attention from our highest court. What's really happening here is that McConnell is hoping to buy time for a GOP President to nominate a Justice who will roll back our progress on climate change, clean water and more. But it's not the Senate's job to overrule the President in this way -- it's their job to advise and consent on his nominees to the court. Click here to tell the Senate to get off the bench and do their job by placing a Justice on it.
Thanks for Sounding Off,
Anthony for Environmental Action
1. Article 2 Section 2, United States Constitution.
2. Demirjian, Karoun. Republicans Refuse to Budge Following Garland Nomination to Supreme Court. The Washington Post. March 16, 2016.
3. Fernandez, Nick. Sunday Shows Allow McConnel to Push False "Biden Rule" as Precedent for SCOTUS Obstruction. Media Matters. March 20, 2016.
4. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Republicans: Do Your Job on a Supreme Court Nominee.
5. McCarter, Joan. Orrin Hatch Tying Himself in Knots Explaining Why he Supported Nominee Garland in 1997, But Won't Now. Daily Kos. March 22, 2016.