On The Anniversary Of The Oklahoma City Bombing, Leahy Calls For The Senate To Come Together And Do The Work Of The American People

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, April 19, 2016) – Today marks the 21st anniversary of the tragic Oklahoma City bombing that took the lives of 168 people, including 19 children.  In the immediate aftermath of that tragedy, Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland supervised the team investigating and prosecuting the Oklahoma City bombing and drew praise from all sides for his work.

Noting the important anniversary and Garland’s critical work on the ground in Oklahoma City, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on the Senate to come together and give Garland a hearing and a vote.

“Chief Judge Garland helped oversee every aspect of the criminal investigation and response, and years later, he still considers his work in Oklahoma City the most important of his life,” Leahy said in a floor statement

Now, Leahy said, “It is this dedicated public servant who is being denied a public hearing by Senate Republicans.” 

No pending Supreme Court nominee has been denied a hearing and a vote since public hearings began in 1916, yet Senate Republicans refuse to follow well-established precedent and schedule a public hearing for Garland.  The American people continue to call on Senate Republicans to do their jobs and give Garland a prompt hearing and a vote, and his nomination continues to draw praise.

In a letter to the Judiciary Committee sent Tuesday, the law enforcement team who worked with Garland in the aftermath of Oklahoma City wrote: “Twenty years ago, the nation could not find a better lawyer to manage the investigation and prosecution of what was then the worst crime ever committed on American soil.  Today, our nation could not find a better judge, nor a more honorable man, to join its highest court.” 

And the executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, which honored Garland with a Reflections of Hope Award for his work on behalf of victims, said: “We are so proud that Judge Garland, who kept the family members and survivors front and center during his work in Oklahoma City has been nominated.”

With Garland’s nomination now pending over a month, Leahy said it is past time for Senate Republicans to act. 

“Today, as we remember the victims, their families, and the entire Oklahoma City community, we should also remember the good that the Senate has done when we put aside destructive partisanship and come together to act for the good of the country,” Leahy said.  “This body has done that time and again as it has carried out its constitutional duty to consider nominees to the Supreme Court.  I hope the Senate will carry out that duty for a public servant named Merrick Garland who has served his Nation so honorably.”

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