Federal Courts and Nominations

Senate GOP Leaders Decide To Opt Out Of Governing

Washington, DC – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and his Republican colleagues on that Committee today declared that they plan to obstruct anyone who President Obama nominates to fill the Supreme Court vacancy opened by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death last week – including a refusal to hold hearings on or even meet with that nominee. To this news, CAC President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:


“If a Senator is going to serve on the Judiciary Committee, they should know what the Constitution actually says. When it comes to nominations, the Constitution’s text is clear. The President’s duty under Article II is mandatory, saying that ‘he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… Judges of the supreme Court.’ The Senate has a duty as well. Senators are free to reject a particular nominee, but what the Framers did not contemplate was a complete and shameful refusal by the Senate to even participate in the process.


“If the Senate’s leadership continues this course, they simply will have opted out of governing. They will hamstring the Supreme Court over two Terms, and transmit the virus of dysfunction from Congress into the one branch of the federal government doing a job the American people actually approve of.”






Letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans on obstructing any nominee from President Obama to the U.S. Supreme Court, February 23, 2016: http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/NomineeLetter.pdf 




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.



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