Tags: Barack Obama | Supreme Court | barack obama | supreme court | merrick garland | congress | nomination

Obama Pleads for Garland Vote in WSJ Op-Ed

Image: Obama Pleads for Garland Vote in WSJ Op-Ed
Merrick Garland (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

By    |   Monday, 18 Jul 2016 10:53 AM

President Barack Obama is appealing to Congress to give his Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing when lawmakers return from summer recess — warning continued inaction could ultimately "undermine our democracy."

In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, the president argues "the partisan decision of Senate Republicans to deny a hearing to a judge who has served his country with honor and dignity is not just an insult to a good man — it is an unprecedented escalation of the stakes."

"Treating the Supreme Court like a political football makes the American people more cynical about democracy," he writes. "When the Supreme Court becomes a proxy for political parties, public confidence in the notion of an impartial, independent judiciary breaks down. And the resulting lack of trust can undermine the rule of law."

Obama argues the refusal of the Senate to move on a hearing for Garland — whom the president nominated in March — is "much more serious than your typical case of Washington dysfunction."

"And if we allow it to continue, the consequences of congressional inaction could weaken our most important institutions, erode public trust and undermine our democracy," he warns, noting that "every Supreme Court nominee since 1875 who hasn't withdrawn from the process has received a hearing or a vote."

"Senators are free to vote their conscience," the president writes. "But they vote. That's their job."

"If Republicans in the Senate refuse even to consider a nominee in the hopes of running out the clock until they can elect a president from their own party, so that he can nominate his own justice to the Supreme Court, then they will effectively nullify the ability of any president from the opposing party to make an appointment to the nation's highest court," he writes.

"They would reduce the very functioning of the judicial branch of the government to another political leverage point."

The president proposes that Senate give Garland a hearing when it returns from summer recess, "while also committing to give every future qualified Supreme Court nominee a hearing and a vote within an established time frame."

"We need senators to demonstrate that, once again, America has the capacity to rise above disagreements and maintain a fidelity to the values that, for 240 years, have made this extraordinary experiment a success," he concludes.

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President Barack Obama is appealing to Congress to give his Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing when lawmakers return from summer recess - warning continued inaction could ultimately "undermine our democracy."
barack obama, supreme court, merrick garland, congress, nomination
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2016-53-18
Monday, 18 Jul 2016 10:53 AM
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