03.11.16

From All Corners, Americans Are Calling On Republican Senators To Uphold Constitution and Consider SCOTUS Nominee

From All Corners, Americans Are Calling On Republican Senators
To Uphold Constitution and Consider SCOTUS Nominee

WASHINGTON (Friday, March 11, 2016) – Business leaders, legal scholars, bar associations, historians, and Americans from all corners are calling on Republican Senators to do their jobs when it comes to filling the Supreme Court vacancy.

Despite the growing calls for the Senate to follow 100 years of bipartisan tradition and provide a public hearing and a vote on the president’s Supreme Court nominee, Republicans continue to obstruct.  On Thursday, one Republican Senator acknowledged that Republicans’ refusal to consider a Supreme Court nominee this year is setting a new precedent in the history of the Senate, stating “We are setting a precedent here today, Republicans are… That’s going to be the new rule.”

Polls released this week from the Washington Post/ABC, Wall Street Journal/NBC, and CNN/ORC all clearly show that the American people want the Senate to do its jobs and hold hearings on the next Supreme Court nominee.

Since the Senate Judiciary Committee began holding public hearings on Supreme Court nominees in 1916, every pending Supreme Court nominee has received a hearing, except 9 nominees who were all confirmed within 11 days. 

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Business Leaders, Law Enforcement and Legal Experts Agree: The Senate Must Do Its Job

“This is not what America’s founders had in mind when they gave the president the power to appoint justices, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Certainly senators are free to vote for or against a nominee, but it sets a dangerous and irresponsible precedent to refuse to consider any nominee at all.”

New York Times (editorial, 3/11/16)

  • “We are deeply concerned about the effect and impact that the current rhetoric and stated positions will have on the effective operation of the judiciary, and on public perception of the American justice system. A full complement of Supreme Court Justices is critical to ensuring the smooth functioning of the judiciary and our legal system.” Letter from diverse bar associations representing almost 200,000 lawyers, judges and legal professionals across the country, March 10, 2016
  • “Allowing the Court to proceed for two terms with an open seat would be unprecedented and have damaging collateral consequences that would be felt across our entire federal judicial system. The Court would be unable to act if it were divided in any case without a majority. Such an untoward situation would also negatively impact the business environment and the economy of the country.” Letter from over 250 business lawyers, March 9, 2016
  • “We are united in the belief that the United States Senate must act promptly to consider a nominee to fill the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court.  We believe that a failure to do so would undermine the rule of law and ultimately impair the functioning of state governments within our federal system.” Letter from 21 State Attorneys General, March 9, 2016
  • “The consideration of Supreme Court nominees is a fundamental constitutional responsibility of the Senate. The refusal to hold a hearing or meet with a nominee to the Supreme Court is a clear dereliction of duty, and inconsistent with normal order of the Senate. The politicization of the current vacancy and the President’s duty to nominate a Supreme Court justice violates the very principles of order and rule of law that uphold our Constitution and values as a nation.” Letter from 40 of the nation’s most preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, March 9, 2016
  • “The Senate must not defeat the intention of the Framers by failing to perform its constitutional duty.  The Senate Judiciary Committee should hold a prompt and fair hearing and the full Senate should hold a timely vote on the president’s nominee.” Letter from 350 law professors and legal scholars, March 8, 2016
  • “The Constitution gives the Senate every right to deny confirmation to a presidential nomination. But denial should come after the Senate deliberates over the nomination, which in contemporary times includes hearings in the Judiciary Committee, and full debate and votes on the Senate floor. Anything less than that, in our view, is a serious and, indeed, unprecedented breach of the Senate’s best practices and noblest traditions for much of our nation’s history.” Historians including Doris Kearns Goodwin, Thomas E. Mann, and Norm Ornstein, March 3, 2016
  • “As lawyers and former public officials committed to the Constitution and the rule of law, it is incredible to us that anyone who claims fidelity to those ideas can argue that either the president or the Senate should not fulfill their duties.” Former Federal Prosecutors, February 23, 2016

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