Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) has met with Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nominee. McCaskill said she wanted to hear from Garland about his qualifications, even as U.S. Senate Republicans refuse to hold a confirmation hearing for him.
McCaskill says Garland deserves a nomination hearing.
“For the first time in history, one political party has decided to politicize the Constitution,” said McCaskill. “The Constitution says the President has a four year term. The Constitution says that he shall nominate. The Constitution says that the U.S. Senate should advise and consent, which means have a hearing and voting up or down. You see how silly this becomes if we short circuit someone’s duly elected term under our Constitution. It becomes a very slippery slope.”
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) has said that blocking a U.S. Supreme Court justice nomination during a Presidential election year is not unusual. Of the people who have been nominated to the nation’s highest court over the years, Blunt says 36 of them never became a justice. Of those 36, the U.S. Senate never voted to confirm 25 of those individuals.
Republicans want to wait until after the November elections, in hopes that a Republican will become President and nominate a conservative justice.
“I have no criticism of anyone who wishes to vote against judge Garland because he is Barack Obama’s nominee. That is their right as a U.S. Senator, but I have a big problem with refusing to do your job. The job in front of the Senate is to have a hearing and have a vote,” said McCaskill.
Obama nominated Garland to replace the late Antonin Scalia. Garland has been a federal appeals court judge for nearly two decades.