Since 1875, every Supreme Court nominee received a vote or at least a hearing in the Senate. Unfortunately, the political gridlock in Washington may lead to the unprecedented event of President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, never receiving the same treatment.
A Harvard Law School graduate and current Chief Judge of the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals, Merrick Garland’s qualifications are impeccable. In fact, Garland was twice considered as a Supreme Court nominee, in 2009 and 2010.
Democrats and Republicans praised Judge Garland’s record during his confirmation hearings to the Federal Court of Appeals in 1996. At the time, The American Bar Association noted Garland was "unanimously well-qualified” and was approved by the Senate.
The previous four Justices appointed to the Supreme Court all received hearings within 75 days of their nomination. Since the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama painstakingly combed through a list of extremely qualified candidates for nomination, giving due diligence to this important process.
What happens next falls squarely on the shoulders of the Senate, particularly its Republican leadership that has vowed to abstain from even giving Judge Garland a hearing. If the Supreme Court vacancy is not filled, it will have a serious impact on our judicial system.
As a government created by the people and for the people, our elected officials have a Constitutional responsibility to carry out their duties and not engage in political obstructionism. The Cochran Firm, D.C. strongly encourages citizens to contact their Senate representatives and urge them to give Judge Garland the hearing he deserves.
Absent a complete panel of Justices, the Supreme Court cannot fully execute the duties our founding fathers envisioned when creating the Court. The time is now to fill this vacancy. Our hope is the Senate comes to understand the implications of this monumental decision.