The Battle for the Supreme Court Intensifies: What You Can Do | American Center for Law and Justice
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How You Can Impact Supreme Court Battle

By Nathanael Bennett1459957895352

The fight over the nomination to replace Justice Scalia is well underway, and will likely intensify through the summer. President Obama, Senate Democrats, and their allies have promised as much.

Here’s where we are: U.S. Senate leadership has promised not to confirm or hold hearings on any nominee until the presidential election has been decided. In spite of this, President Obama named a nominee. Special interest groups are already ratcheting up the pressure on Senators and spending millions of dollars in their efforts to advance President Obama’s nominee and to convince Senate leadership to hold hearings.  

The President and his allies promise to increase the pressure, and we believe they will do so.

While a few Senate Republicans have met with the nominee here on Capitol Hill, Senate leadership is holding firm to their promise to let the American people decide through the election this November.

Here’s why the Senate is correct: 

  • While the Constitution assigns to the President the role of naming a nominee to the high Court, it vests in the Senate a co-equal role in this vital process: No nominee may be confirmed without the Senate’s “advice and consent.” It is the Senate that has the constitutional right to act – or take no action at all – on a President’s nominee.
  • The nomination and confirmation process for appointments to the high Court is already over-politicized. Conducting hearings when Senate leadership has already promised not to confirm a nominee until after the elections would only politicize the process even more. Everyone involved knows no nominee will be confirmed this year. If no nominee will be confirmed, why hold hearings? The answer is obvious: politics.
  • In the words of Vice President Joe Biden when he was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee: “Can you imagine dropping a nominee . . . into that fight, into that cauldron in the middle of a presidential year?”
  • Historically, not since the 1880s has the President of one party nominated and the Senate of an opposing party confirmed a Supreme Court justice in a presidential election year. Even this lone example occurred when the President, Grover Cleveland, was eligible for reelection.
  • Contrary to President Obama’s suggestion, nominees to the high Court are not automatically confirmed by the Senate. Neither are Presidents entitled to have the Senate conduct hearings or hold a vote on the Senate floor. In fact, there have been 25 occasions on which a nomination to the Supreme Court has failed without receiving a vote on the Senate floor.
  • President Obama’s allies have embraced the same view they criticize Senate leadership for taking now: Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuted the notion that “the Senate has a duty to give presidential nominees a vote.” He continued, “The Senate is not a rubber stamp for the executive branch.”
  • Also, when he was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vice President Biden said that when a vacancy on the Supreme Court arises in a presidential election year, “the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”
  • Postponing confirmation hearings until election year politics have subsided is the prudent thing to do. It’s best for the Court, the nominee, and the American people. True leadership embraces wisdom in the face of adversity. Sometimes leaders have to say “no.”

The fight will certainly continue here in Washington, but it will also continue across the country on the state and local level. President Obama’s allies and special interest groups are making their voices heard. It is absolutely critical that Americans who support the Senate’s principled stand do so as well.

There are several ways you can do this. During Senate recesses, when your Senators are speaking at events back home, you can attend those events and express your support.  

You can express your support by calling your Senators’ offices. And you can express your support on social media, perhaps by commenting or posting on your Senators’ pages. In addition, one of the most effective ways to reach out in your local community is through writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

You can also make your voice heard by signing our Petition. We are already approaching 200,000 signatures as momentum builds in our fight to defend the Constitution and give the American people a voice in selecting our next Supreme Court justice.

No SCOTUS Confirmation Before Election

Supreme Court  Signatures


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