The record for the longest time between a Supreme Court nomination and confirmation hearings was set in 1916, when the Senate finally confirmed Justice Louis Brandeis. No thanks to Republicans, Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Scalia, has broken that record.
The Supreme Court is being held hostage by Republican obstructionists. They refuse to hold nomination hearings on Merrick Garland, let alone give him the respect of a vote. It has now been 126 days, surpassing the record set in 1916.
Republicans just won’t do their jobs.
Merrick Garland is eminently qualified and has been recommended for SCOTUS in the past by prominent Republicans. But this is about the politics of spite taken to a breathtaking new level.
Republicans claim “historical precedent” that no one ever confirms a nominee during a presidential election year; that’s simply not true. They are hoping against hope that Donald will win and hand them yet another conservative justice.
Even if the media aren’t paying much attention, voters are. In a recent poll of battleground states, a majority of voters told PPP pollsters they want Congress to hold hearings on the Garland nomination, and that they’re significantly less likely to vote for any senator who opposes them.
“Voters in all six states, by margins ranging from 5 to 23 points, say they don’t trust Donald Trump to nominate a Supreme Court justice. Voters in WI (34% trust Trump, 57% don’t) and in the home of Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley of IA (35% trust Trump, 52% don’t) are particularly skeptical of Trump’s ability to name a Justice.”
President Obama took to the Wall Street Journal to explain the stakes:
It has now been more than four months since I nominated Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit—and Congress left town for a seven-week recess without giving him a hearing, let alone an up-or-down vote. This 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.
POTUS is absolutely right. This is a travesty and sets a dangerous precedent.
And now the ugly truth is revealed:
[Peter Daou contributed to this article.]