Feb 03, 2017

Democrat Senators Made The Case For Quick Gorsuch Confirmation

Post by Derek Yale

Arlington, VA – Judge Gorsuch has received bipartisan praise and been called a “brilliant legal mind” who “brings a sense of fairness and decency to the job,” and many Democrat Senators have said in the past that it is their constitutional obligation to give judicial nominees consideration and a vote. Will these Senators stick to their word and give Judge Neil Gorsuch proper consideration to be the next Supreme Court Justice, or will they bow to the outside liberal groups and party leaders who have called to filibuster his nomination purely for political purposes?

Freedom Partners spokesman Bill Riggs issued the following statement:

“Judge Neil Gorsuch received bipartisan support for his nomination to the Supreme Court and is unquestionably qualified. No one made the case for his swift and fair confirmation better than Democrats in the Senate this past year. Are they going to practice what they preach and ‘do their job’, or will they cave to the extreme left and party leadership who plan to play politics with Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation?”

Numerous Democrat Senators Have Stated That It Is Their Constitutional Obligation To Give Judicial Nominees Consideration

Sen. Joe Donnelly (IN)

Donnelly: “Part Of My Job As A Senator Is To Meet With And Thoroughly Consider Judicial Nominees.” “Part of my job as a Senator is to meet with and thoroughly consider judicial nominees. I hope my Senate colleagues will do their jobs and meet with Judge Garland, ask him questions, learn about his record and his temperament, and then hold hearings and an up or down vote on his nomination.” (Senator Joe Donnelly, “Donnelly Meets with Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland,” Press Release, 3/28/16)

Donnelly: “United States Senators, Myself Included, Were Elected To Do A Job … That Job Includes Considering And Voting On Nominees To The Supreme Court. Let’s Do What We Were Elected To Do.” “Some of my colleagues have been steadfast in promising they would not meet with a nominee, let alone hold a hearing, or allow a vote … Common sense tells you that’s not right. I hope they will reconsider their position. United States Senators, myself included, were elected to do a job … not only when it’s convenient but every day. Every day we’ve been hired by the people back home to work here and stand up for our country. That job includes considering and voting on nominees to the Supreme Court. Let’s do what we were elected to do.” (Senator Joe Donnelly, “Donnelly: Considering Supreme Court Nominees Part Of Senators’ Jobs,” Press Release, 3/3/16)

Donnelly: Considering Nominations Is One Of The Senate’s “Most Basic Constitutional Responsibilities.” “Here in one of the world’s greatest deliberative bodies where we have debated war and peace, civil rights, the right of women to vote, we are now engaged in a debate about whether or not the Senate should carry out one of its most basic constitutional responsibilities. Even more troubling than the refusal of some Senators to even consider a Supreme Court nominee is that this is one in a series of failures over the past year. It’s not an isolated incident. It’s a pattern. … I have said it before, and I will say it again. Most Americans believe Congress can do something to help move our country forward. At the very least, we should do no harm.” (Senator Joe Donnelly, “Donnelly Calls For Senate To Do Its Job To Help Strengthen Economy And Security,” Press Release, 4/20/16)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO)

McCaskill: “Since Supreme Court Nominee Hearings Began In 1916, Every Nominee’s Received A Hearing, Or Been Confirmed Within Days. I’m Appalled That Senate Republicans Are Ignoring The Constitution And Refusing To Do Their Job. Hold A Hearing, For Gosh Sakes, And Then Vote.” (Senator Claire McCaskill, “McCaskill Statement on Supreme Court Nomination,” Press Release, 3/16/16)

McCaskill, Frustrated By The Senate’s Refusal To Hold Hearings On Garland, Explained That “There Has Never Been A Nominee For The Supreme Court By A President Of The United States Where The Senate Has Refused To Hold A Hearing And Refused To Hold A Vote.” “Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is frustrated Republicans have refused to hold hearings or vote on President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court. After conservative justice Antonin Scalia’s death earlier this year, Obama selected appellate court judge Merrick Garland as a replacement. McCaskill claims the GOP majority Senate’s insistence the next president fill the vacancy is a historical move. ‘And not is a good way’ said McCaskill. ‘There has never been a nominee for the Supreme Court by a president of the United States where the Senate has refused to hold a hearing and refused to hold a vote.'” (Jason Taylor, “Sen. Mccaskill, Dems Renew Push For Hearing Of Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee,” Missourinet, 9/13/16)

McCaskill Argues That Leaving The Supreme Court Position Vacant For So Long Threatens The Country’s System Of Checks And Balances. “McCaskill contends leaving the position vacant for so long threatens the country’s system of checks and balances. ‘The Supreme Court has had a number of ties already. They are not operating with a full complement, which means there are cases that are not being decided. They are just allowing the lower court decisions to stand because there is a 4-4 tie.'” (Jason Taylor, “Sen. Mccaskill, Dems Renew Push For Hearing Of Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee,” Missourinet, 9/13/16)

Sen. Jon Tester (MT)

Tester: “The American People Should Have An Opportunity To Vet” Supreme Court Nominees. “‘I’ve had my meeting with Garland now it’s time for the public to have theirs,’ Tester said. ‘The American people should have an opportunity to vet Judge Garland through a public hearing. Unfortunately, Senate obstructionists are once again refusing to do their jobs. If Congress operated like a business, the employees would have been fired weeks ago.'” (Senator Jon Tester, “Tester Meets Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland,” Press Release, 5/12/16)

Tester Launched A Social Media Campaign To Pressure The Senate To Hold Hearings And Have A Vote On Garland’s Nomination. “In anticipation of his Thursday meeting with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, Senator Jon Tester is launching a social media campaign to highlight hardworking Montanans who are baffled by the Senate’s inaction on this issue. Each Montanan featured in the campaign juggles more than half a dozen jobs, so why-they ask-can’t Congress do one? ‘The contrast between the hardworking people I represent-who are working two, three, four jobs or more-and some of the folks in the Senate is astounding,’ said Tester. ‘If the average citizen refused to do the job they were hired for, they’d be fired. It is long past time for my colleagues in the Senate to hold hearings and have a vote. Our country deserves better.'” (Senator Jon Tester, “Tester Launches Social Media Campaign In Advance Of Garland Meeting,” Press Release, 5/10/16)

Tester Argued That Refusing To Hold A Hearing Or Vote On The Supreme Court Nominee Is A Dereliction Of The Senate’s Constitutional Responsibility. “‘It’s now time for the Senate to fulfill its constitutional responsibility and do its job. I look forward to meeting with Judge Garland and reviewing his credentials to ensure he will uphold the Constitution. I urge my Senate colleagues to put aside politics, roll up their sleeves, and start governing like the American people deserve.’ Tester has stated numerous times that Senators are certainly allowed to vote ‘no’ on the nominee if the candidate is not qualified, but refusing to hold a hearing or vote on the matter is a dereliction of their Constitutional responsibility.” (Senator Jon Tester, “Tester Statement On SCOTUS Nominee,” Press Release, 3/16/16)

Tester: “Our Constitution Is Clear: The Senate Has A Responsibility To Consider Any And All Supreme Court Nominees. Refusing To Do So Is A Reckless Disregard Of Our Constitutional Duty And Obstructionism At Its Ugliest.” (Senator Jon Tester, “Tester Slams Senate For Dodging Its Constitutional Responsibility,” Press Release, 2/24/16)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (ND)

Heitkamp: “Vetting Nominees To Fill Vacancies On The U.S. Supreme Court Is One Of The Most Important Roles Of A U.S. Senator.” “Vetting nominees to fill vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court is one of the most important roles of a U.S. senator, and I take that job very seriously … Our conversation this morning reinforced why Judge Garland’s nomination should receive full and fair consideration, why more senators should meet with him, and why the Senate needs to stop playing politics and do its job by holding a public hearing and an up or down vote on Judge Garland. Congress can do better, and that’s possible if it stops the partisan gridlock and works together by doing its job – just as Americans across the country do every day.” (Senator Heidi Heitkamp, “Heitkamp Meets With U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Judge Merrick Garland,” Press Release, 4/7/16)

Heitkamp Called For The U.S. Senate To Hold An Up Or Down Vote On Garland. “U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today called for the U.S. Senate to hold a hearing and up or down vote on D.C. Circuit Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland, who the President nominated to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. In the last 100 years, the full Senate has taken action on every pending U.S. Supreme Court nominee to fill a vacancy, regardless of whether the nomination was made in a presidential election year.” (Senator Heidi Heitkamp, “Heitkamp: Senate Needs To Hold Hearing & Hold Up Or Down Vote On U.S. Supreme Court Nominee,” Press Release, 3/16/16)

  • Heitkamp: “The U.S. Senate Needs To Take Responsibility And Do Its Job …” “‘When North Dakotans go to work each day, they are expected to do their jobs to the best of their abilities so they can make a living and feed their families,’ said Heitkamp. ‘But some U.S. senators want to skirt their jobs and constitutional responsibilities by playing politics with our highest court – a branch of government that should be above politics. The U.S. Senate needs to take responsibility and do its job by meeting with Judge Garland, holding a hearing so we can hear directly from him about his lifetime body of work both before and during his time on the federal bench, and then hold an up or down vote on him in the full Senate. At that time, any senator is free to vote against the nominee. Since public confirmation hearings began, the Senate has never denied a U.S. Supreme Court nominee a hearing and a vote. We cannot allow this moment to be the first time. The same senators who claim to want Congress to work are instead promoting partisan gridlock. But they can change that discourse — by holding a hearing and a vote on the nominee. I look forward to meeting with Judge Garland and reviewing his record which will help provide an informed decision on his nomination.'” (Senator Heidi Heitkamp, “Heitkamp: Senate Needs To Hold Hearing & Hold Up Or Down Vote On U.S. Supreme Court Nominee,” Press Release, 3/16/16)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI)

Stabenow: “The Senate Has A Constitutional Duty To Provide Advice And Consent” On Supreme Court Nominations. “The Senate has a Constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on Judge Garland’s nomination through a fair confirmation process. I join the overwhelming majority of Americans in calling for a public hearing and vote on Judge Garland’s nomination. It’s time for Senate Republicans to do their job.” (Senator Debbie Stabenow, “Senator Stabenow Meets With Supreme Court Nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland,” Press Release, 4/19/16)

Stabenow: “The American People Deserve Fair And Open Hearings And A Vote On The President’s Nominee To The Highest Court In The Land.” “One of the most important Constitutional duties as a United States Senator is to confirm Justices of the Supreme Court. … This is a job I take very seriously, and I urge my colleagues to do the same. The American people deserve fair and open hearings and a vote on the President’s nominee to the highest court in the land.” (Senator Debbie Stabenow, “Senator Stabenow Statement On Announcement Of Supreme Court Nominee,” Press Release, 3/16/16)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH)

Brown: Doing Anything Less Than Giving A Qualified Nominee To The Supreme Court Full And Fair Consideration Undermines Our Democracy. “‘President Obama is doing his job and nominating Judge Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Now it’s time for Senators to do our jobs,’ said Brown. ‘Senate Republicans have said they will refuse to even meet with this President’s nominee, much less hold a hearing and an up-or-down vote. But now we have an unquestionably qualified nominee who has earned support from both Republicans and Democrats in the past, so I expect my colleagues to put politics aside, do the job we were elected to do and give Judge Garland full and fair consideration. Anything less undermines our democracy.'” (Senator Sherrod Brown, “Brown Statement On Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland,” Press Release, 3/16/16)

Brown: Garland’s Nomination Was Hard To Oppose Because He Was Confirmed Overwhelmingly Years Ago. “No give yet, but I think that this one’s a hard one to oppose when he was confirmed overwhelmingly some years ago. Orrin Hatch and others have made very favorable comments. Even Chief Justice Roberts has said very positive things about him. So I think the pressure builds.” (“Sen. Sherrod Brown On Obama Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland,” NPR, 3/16/16)

Brown: “We Take An Oath Of Office. We Get Paid To Do This Work, And Fellow Senators Need To Do Their Jobs.” “They’re saying it now. They said it when there was no candidate. I think when the public hears things like – the last time there was a full-year vacancy on the Supreme Court was 150 years ago when we were in the midst, literally fighting a civil war – that there is no precedent for basically saying the president has a three-year rather than four-year term and we have to shut down everything on the last year of his term. I think when the pressure will build on – the pressure builds to tell this crowd in Washington to do your jobs, and senators – we run for these offices. We take an oath of office. We get paid to do this work, and fellow senators need to do their jobs. And I think that mantra is going to be heard over and over.” (“Sen. Sherrod Brown On Obama Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland,” NPR, 3/16/16)

Brown: A Refusal To Take Up A Supreme Court Nomination Is “Reprehensible.” “He called the fact that Senate Republicans have balked at taking up Garland’s nomination ‘reprehensible.’ ‘Never in history has a person been nominated Supreme Court Justice and the Senate just absolutely refused to do its job,’ he said.” (Jessica Wehrman, “Sherrod Brown Says He’ll Back Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland,” The Columbus Dispatch, 4/7/16)

Brown: To Refuse To Hold A Vote Is Pure Politics And Disrespectful To The Voters, To The President, And To The Constitution. “But to refuse to even hold a vote is nothing but pure politics at its worst. In 2013 Republicans in Congress didn’t like the results of the 2012 election, so they shut down the government. Three years later, they still don’t like it. So now they’re trying to shut down the Supreme Court nomination process. It’s disrespectful to the voters, disrespectful to the president, and disrespectful to the Constitution.” (Op-Ed, Senator Sherrod Brown, “Senators Owe Nominee A Hearing,” Cincinnati Enquirer, 3/17/16)

Sen. Bob Casey (PA)

Casey: “The President has done his job as is proscribed under the Constitution, and it’s time for Senate Republicans to commit to doing their job by giving this nominee a fair hearing and a timely vote. … The Constitution Is Clear.” “The President has done his job as is proscribed under the Constitution, and it’s time for Senate Republicans to commit to doing their job by giving this nominee a fair hearing and a timely vote. Several Senate Republicans have engaged in outrageous political games by refusing to commit to giving any nominee under President Obama a hearing or even a meeting in their offices. The Constitution is clear. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution explicitly requires the President to select a nominee for any vacancy to the Supreme Court, and the Senate to advise and consent on that nominee. The history is also clear. The Senate has taken action on every Supreme Court nominee in the last 100 years, regardless of whether the nomination was made in a presidential election year, and not since the Civil War has the Senate taken longer than a year to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.” (Senator Bob Casey, “Casey Statement On Nomination Of Merrick Garland For United States Supreme Court,” Press Release, 3/16/16)

  • Senators “Must Do Their Job And Give That Nominee A Fair Hearing And A Timely Vote.” “Senators are free to vote however they choose on a Supreme Court nominee, but they must do their job and give that nominee a fair hearing and a timely vote.” (Senator Bob Casey, “Casey Statement On Nomination Of Merrick Garland For United States Supreme Court,” Press Release, 3/16/16)

Casey: “In The Senate, I Think It’s Our Obligation To Cast A Vote When A Nominee Is Presented Or Nominated.” “‘In the Senate, I think it’s our obligation to cast a vote when a nominee is presented or nominated,’ Casey said, declining to offer many specifics about what he and Garland discussed on Tuesday.” (Anna Douglas, “Pennsylvania’s Casey Meets With Supreme Court Nominee Garland,” McClatchy, 3/22/16)

Sen. Bill Nelson (FL)

Nelson: “The Senate Has A Constitutional Responsibility To Fill Vacancies On The Supreme Court And I Take That Responsibility Very Seriously.” “The Senate has a constitutional responsibility to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court and I take that responsibility very seriously. Today, the president nominated Judge Merrick Garland to serve on our nation’s highest court and I hope that the Senate is given a chance to fully consider this nominee.” (Senator Bill Nelson, “Sen. Bill Nelson’s Statement On The President’s Nominee To The Supreme Court,” Press Release, 3/16/16)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (WI)

Baldwin: “To Ignore This Nomination Is Wrong And Irresponsible. Senate Republicans Need To Do Their Job And Provide … An Up-Or-Down Vote. I Believe The American People Deserve To Have A Full And Functioning Supreme Court Working For Them.” “I am pleased that the President has done his job and offered a nominee with strong federal judicial experience. I now plan to do my job by reviewing Judge Garland’s experience and qualifications for our highest court. I also look forward to meeting with Judge Garland. I hope my Republican colleagues will do the same thing. In the spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation, I would encourage my Republican colleagues to give Judge Garland fair consideration. To ignore this nomination is wrong and irresponsible. Senate Republicans need to do their job and provide Judge Garland a hearing and an up-or-down vote. I believe the American people deserve to have a full and functioning Supreme Court working for them.” (Senator Tammy Baldwin, “U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement On President Obama’s Nomination Of Judge Merrick Garland To The United States Supreme Court,” Press Release, 3/16/16)

Baldwin: “It Is Disrespectful To The President, Disrespectful To The Constitution And Disrespectful To The American People Who Deserve A Full And Functioning Supreme Court, Not An Empty Seat On The Highest Court In The Land.” “‘It is disrespectful to the president, disrespectful to the Constitution and disrespectful to the American people who deserve a full and functioning Supreme Court, not an empty seat on the highest court in the land,” Baldwin said of Republicans’ refusal to hold a hearing on Garland.” (Craig Gilbert, “Tammy Baldwin Meets With Merrick Garland,” Post-Crescent, 4/14/16)

Baldwin: A Refusal To Take Up A Supreme Court Nomination Is “Outrageous” And “The Impact Of This Obstruction Will Be Long Felt.” “After meeting with federal Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland on Thursday, Sen. Tammy Baldwin called the GOP’s refusal to take up his Supreme Court nomination ‘outrageous’ and said ‘the impact of this obstruction will be long felt.'” (Craig Gilbert, “Tammy Baldwin Meets With Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/14/16)

Baldwin: “Leaving One Seat Vacant Prevents Our Highest Court From Resolving Major Legal Issues. It Threatens The Integrity Of Our Democracy And The Functioning Of Our Constitutional Government. It Puts At Risk The Administration Of Justice Across The Country.” “Earlier this week, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) keynoted the ACS Madison Lawyer Chapter’s kick-off event. In spirited remarks and thoughtful answers to audience questions, Sen. Baldwin spoke powerfully about the stalled nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, the judicial vacancy crisis more broadly and the vital need for our country to move forward: ‘Leaving one seat vacant prevents our highest court from resolving major legal issues. It threatens the integrity of our democracy and the functioning of our constitutional government. It puts at risk the administration of justice across the country. As Justice Kagan said recently, ‘A tie does nobody any good.’ We need nine.'” (Jeff Mandel, “Sen. Tammy Baldwin To ACS Madison Lawyer Chapter: ‘We Need Nine’,” American Constitution Society, 10/14/16)

Will They Go Against Their Word Or Will They Resists Calls From The Left And Their Leadership To Filibuster The SCOTUS Nominee

Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Vowed To Filibuster President Trump’s Nominee To The Supreme Court. “Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., made it clear Wednesday that Democrats will filibuster President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, saying it is important that the Colorado judge be “mainstream” enough to appeal to at least some Democrats and attract 60 votes.” (Erin Kelly, “Schumer Says Dems Will Demand 60 Votes To Confirm Gorsuch,” USA Today, 2/1/17)

  • Sen. Schumer: “There Will Be 60 Votes For Confirmation.” “‘We Democrats will insist on a rigorous but fair process,’ Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor. ‘There will be 60 votes for confirmation. Any one member can require it. Many Democrats already have, and it is the right thing to do. On a subject as important as a Supreme Court nomination, bipartisan support should be a prerequisite. It should be essential. That’s what 60 votes does.'” (Erin Kelly, “Schumer Says Dems Will Demand 60 Votes To Confirm Gorsuch,” USA Today, 2/1/17)

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Plan To Filibuster Gorsuch’s Nomination Using “Every Lever In Our Power.” “Senate Democrats are going to try to bring down President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick no matter who the president chooses to fill the current vacancy. With Trump prepared to announce his nominee on Tuesday evening, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in an interview on Monday morning that he will filibuster any pick that is not Merrick Garland and that the vast majority of his caucus will oppose Trump’s nomination. That means Trump’s nominee will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate. ‘This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,’ Merkley said in an interview. ‘We will use every lever in our power to stop this.’ (Burgess Everett, “Senate Dems Will Filibuster Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee,” Politico, 1/30/17)

Liberal Groups And Activists Call On Democrats To Filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s Nomination To The Supreme Court.

Liberal Group CREDO Threatened That Democrats Who Don’t Filibuster Gorsuch’s Nomination “Will Face The Wrath Of Their Constituents’.” “Outside groups are already applying such pressure. Moments before Trump made Gorsuch’s pick official, the liberal group CREDO Action sent an email assuring that ‘Democrats who don’t fight will face the wrath of their constituents’ — a veiled threat of primary challenges, perhaps. ‘Democrats cannot allow the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice picked by a racist, fascist, sexual predator who lost the majority vote by almost three million votes,’ CREDO political director Murshed Zaheed said.” (Aaron Blake, “Democrats Are In Real Danger Of Overplaying Their Hand Right Now,” The Washington Post, 2/1/17)

Liberal Activist Michael Moore Says Any Democrat Who Doesn’t Support The Filibuster Will Be Primaried.

(Mark Hensch, “Michael Moore To Dems: Block Gorsuch Or Face Primaries,” The Hill, 2/1/17)

Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Who Is Currently Running To Chair The DNC, Has Called On Democrats To Block The Nomination Of Judge Gorsuch. “Tom Perez, former United States Secretary of Labor, explicitly called for Senate Democrats to take action against Trump’s first Supreme Court nomination. ‘Simply put, a Justice Gorsuch on the Supreme Court is intolerable and it’s up to Democrats to block his nomination,’ said Perez reportedly.” (William Steakin, “Democrats Call To ‘Block’ Trump Supreme Court Nomination Neil Gorsuch,” AOL.com, 1/31/17)

Democracy For America Has Said That It Is “Unacceptable For Any Senate Democrat To Suggest Confirming This Nominee.” “Liberal groups were outraged at the ‘absurd’ suggestion. ‘At a time when urgent cases are pending regarding Trump’s bigoted, unconstitutional actions, it is simply unacceptable for any Senate Democrat to suggest confirming this nominee,’ said Democracy for America, a leading lobby group.” (Seth McLaughlin And Stephen Dinan, “‘Nuclear’ Cloud Hangs Over Pick Of Gorsuch For Supreme Court,” The Washington Times, 1/31/17)

###