Federal Courts and Nominations

Judge Merrick Garland Nominated To U.S. Supreme Court

CAC Calls On Senate Republican Leadership To Follow The Constitution And Hold Hearings And A Floor Vote


Washington, DC – On news today that President Barack Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the position of Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction: 


“Judge Garland is an excellent jurist who has enjoyed bipartisan support throughout his career. Elevated to Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2012, he has built a distinguished career on the bench and has earned the universal respect of his peers on the court and the bar. Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch helped Garland win confirmation to the D.C. Circuit in 1997, and said in 2010 ‘I know Merrick Garland very well. He would be very well supported by all sides (as a Supreme Court nominee) and the president knows that.’


“Now it is up to Senate Republicans and their leadership,” Wydra continued. “They have a job to do – a job they were elected to perform just as President Obama was. The clear text of the U.S. Constitution commands the Senate to work together with the President on nominations to the Court. Article II, Section 2 says that the president ‘shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… Judges of the Supreme Court.’ It doesn’t say ‘may nominate’ or ‘except in election years.’ It says ‘shall nominate.’ President Obama has done his job, it’s now time for Senators to do theirs by considering this nominee. Nowhere in the text or history of our Constitution is the Senate permitted to drop an iron curtain across Pennsylvania Avenue and refuse even to evaluate a president’s nominee. 


“Majority Leader McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley claim that the American people should have a say. They in fact had that say in 2012, when they re-elected President Obama. And now they want the Senate to follow the Constitution and promptly hold a hearing on this nominee and a vote on the Senate floor. It is time for the Senate’s Republican leadership to stop its damaging obstruction and do their jobs.”






“Majority of Public Wants Senate to Act on Obama’s Court Nominee,” Pew Research: http://www.people-press.org/2016/02/22/majority-of-public-wants-senate-to-act-on-obamas-court-nominee/ 


“Republican would back Garland for Supreme Court,” Reuters, May 6, 2010: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-hatch-idUSTRE6456QY20100506 




Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.