Senator Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The SCOTUS Vacancy And Continuing Efforts To De-Legitimize President Obama’s Authority

“Let’s be blunt: Some of the pressure on the Senate to ignore its duty to fairly consider a nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy comes from the unending campaign outside the Senate to de-legitimize this President’s authority.

“Even before President Obama took office, and ever since then, there has been an unrelenting and cynical campaign by some hyper-partisans to de-legitimize this president’s authority.  There were the birthers, and there have been and still are spurious slurs of all kinds.  Outside of the Senate, the efforts to undermine President Obama’s constitutional authority to fill this Supreme Court vacancy draw some of this vehemence and venom from these dark corners.  The Senate is sworn to uphold the Constitution and to fulfill its constitutional duties.  Let us not be intimidated and pressured to avoid our sworn duty. Let us act for the good of the American people and for the Nation.  We must not let that dysfunction infect the Supreme Court, which is an independent, coequal branch of government that was designed to be above politics.  The next nominee to the Supreme Court deserves full and fair consideration by the Senate. This includes a timely hearing, and then an up-or-down vote.”

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