A recent op-ed in The Hill, by former Congressman Robert Wexler, describes why Republicans do not have the right to infringe on the Supreme Court nomination process. After Justice Scalia’s death last month, Republicans are threatening to refuse to hold a meeting for President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made his intentions clear: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice.” He seems to have forgotten that the American people elected Obama as president — not once, but twice.
The Republicans are using not just the Supreme Court — but also Garland, a long-serving federal judge with impeccable credentials who was confirmed for the D.C. Circuit Court by a Republican Senate— as a political football, claiming precedent where there is none, acting irresponsibly, and as they have done since Obama was first sworn into office, blocking him for the sake of blocking him — at a cost to our nation’s judicial system.
The claim that not enough time remains for confirmation is absurd. Nearly 300 days remain before the next president takes office. In effect, by claiming not enough time, Republicans have decided that Obama’s four-year term ended after three years. Yet since the 1980s, every person appointed to the court has received a prompt hearing and vote within 100 days. The last four justices, spanning two administrations, were confirmed in an average of 75 days, with 67 days to confirmation the average since 1975.
To read the whole op-ed, click here.