On Wednesday, March 16, President Obama announced Merrick Garland as his nomination to the Supreme Court. If approved, he would be the successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February.
After making his announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, the nomination immediately became a topic of discussion among both the Republican and Democratic parties, as well as the presidential candidates.
Within minutes, Republican majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, issued a statement saying Obama made his selection “not with the intent of seeing the nominee confirmed, but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election.”
As the next step of the nomination now shifts into the hands of the Senate, the message expressed by McConnell and many other senators is that they will not hold a hearing for Obama’s nomination at all, citing they want to wait until the next president is elected.
If they hold true to this declaration, this will be an unprecedented reason for the Senate to refute the nomination set forth by the president.
The Editorial Board of the Old Gold & Black find this issue central and of critical importance to the future of our nation, as the Supreme Court will soon make decisions on significant issues facing our country.
Such decisions could have different outcomes depending on who will fill Scalia’s seat — making this appointment important to our nation’s future.
Yet, rather than politicizing the approval of Obama’s appointment, we believe the Republican-controlled Senate should think critically about the decision and the implications it could have if it they fail to hold a hearing for Garland.
First, Garland is a traditional moderate — one that is respected by those of differing political ideologies.
We believe Obama did his due-diligence in selecting Garland, strategically selecting a nominee that both the Republicans and Democrats have supported over the years.
Moreover, we agree with the New York Times Editorial Board, who claim that “if you tried to create the ideal Supreme Court nominee in a laboratory, it would be hard to do better than Judge Merrick Garland.”
Garland has accrued deep respect as an appellate judge from both political parties, and thus we believe the Senate should abandon bipartisan politics and due their duty to approve a nominee who has shown he is worthy of the honorary position.
If the Senate fails to approve Garland, waiting for the nation’s next president to make his or her own nomination, the Senate may be forced to vote on a nominee more liberal or conservative than their liking — most likely the case if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump become the United State’s 45th president.
President Obama has fulfilled his constitutional duty as president.
It is now time for the Senate to do the same.