Bernie Sanders' Merrick Garland Statement Shows Why The Supreme Court Nominee Is So Important
Late Wednesday morning at the White House Rose Garden, Obama announced his nomination for the next Supreme Court Justice who would replace the late Antonin Scalia. Obama officially nominated the chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Merrick Garland. Following statements made by Republicans over the last month — that they will not move forward with anyone the president nominates — Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders responded to the nomination with a call to action.
Republicans have been far from silent on the matter of appointing a new justice — at least when it comes down to Obama's nominations. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa stated, "A majority of the Senate has decided to fulfill its constitutional role of advice and consent by withholding support for the nomination during a presidential election year."
Following the president's announcement on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it very clear that he would not consider Garland to fill the vacant seat. He said, "The American people may well elect a president who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration. The next president may also nominate somebody very different."
But Sanders was not interested in Senate Republicans' refusal to even consider Garland. In his statement published on Wednesday, the presidential candidate stated:
Judge Garland is a strong nominee with decades of experience on the bench. My Republican colleagues have called Judge Garland a ‘consensus nominee’ and said that there is ‘no question’ he could be confirmed. Refusing to hold hearings on the president's nominee would be unprecedented. President Obama has done his job. It’s time for Republicans to do theirs. I call on Sen. Grassley to hold confirmation hearings immediately and for Leader McConnell to bring the nomination to floor of the Senate if Judge Garland is approved by the Judiciary Committee.
Sanders is right — Republicans should be doing their jobs to move the process along, especially considering what's at stake if they don't. If they were to wait until November to see who the American people elect as president, there's no saying who will be the next nominee to fill the seat. Currently, Donald Trump holds the lead in the Republican race for the White House, although not without disdain from some Republicans who have been vocal about stopping him from getting there.
If Trump were to be the Republican presidential nominee — and God forbid the next president — there's no saying who he would nominate as the next Supreme Court Justice. And he has already made it clear over the course of his campaign that, if in office, his executive powers will not easily be limited — and that's very dangerous considering his racist rhetoric toward Muslims, Black people, and Mexican immigrants.
At this point, it seems that Senate Republicans will do anything they can to stop Obama from doing just about anything as he finishes his last few months in office. But not doing their jobs could be very dangerous for the future of their party, and the country.