Earlier this week President Barack Obama announced that he was nominating Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left in the wake of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. As expected, many Senate Republicans quickly stood up and spoke out, promising to stand against Obama’s last minute nomination. Citing the so-called “Biden Rule,” GOP Senators have argued that the Democrat Party has long maintained that no Supreme Court nominee should be confirmed in an election year. While the Democrats now complain that the Republicans “aren’t doing their jobs,” they weren’t so opposed to stonewalling a judge back when President George W. Bush was still President.
The GOP Senators from Georgia and Oklahoma have now decided to speak out and clearly enunciate that they will oppose President Obama’s nominee.
Senator David Perdue (R-GA): “The Constitution is clear: the President shall nominate judges to the Supreme Court, but the power to grant, or withhold, consent of such nominees rests exclusively with the United States Senate. What’s at stake here is the balance of our nation’s highest court and the direction of our country for decades. I remain firm in my decision to exercise my Constitutional authority and withhold consent on any nominee to the Supreme Court submitted by President Obama.”
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA): “As U.S. senators, we have the Constitutional obligation of advice and consent to the president’s nominations. I take this role very seriously because an appointment to the Supreme Court has a significant and lasting impact on the future of the Court and on our nation. The Constitution gives the responsibility of Supreme Court appointments to two branches of government, not just one. As a senator who has the duty of advice and consent, I believe the American people should have a voice in this process by allowing the next president to select and the next Senate to confirm Justice Scalia’s replacement.
“I agree with what Vice President Biden said when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
‘It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is under way – and it is – action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. That is what is fair to the nominee and is central to the process. Otherwise, it seems to me we will be in deep trouble as an institution.’”
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK): “President Obama has worked to ram through his liberal agenda by way of executive actions, of which many are now tied up in the courts. This has created a situation where we need to be cautious as to who will fill the vacancy. I will oppose this nomination as I firmly believe we must let the people decide the Supreme Court’s future.”
Senator James Lankford (R-OK): “Article 2, section 2 of the Constitution gives the President and the Senate an equal 50-50 responsibility in the process of filling a Supreme Court vacancy. The President has today fulfilled his constitutional requirement, now the Senate has an opportunity to provide ‘advice and consent.’ While the Constitution says the President shall nominate judges to the Supreme Court, it does not say the Senate shall approve the nominee.”
It remains to be seen if these four men, along with Republican Senate leaders Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), will remain resolute in their opposition or if, as in times past, they’ll crumble before the Obama administration.
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