Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine joined fellow members of the Senate Democratic caucus outside of the U.S. Supreme Court to call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to hold a hearing and vote on President Obama’s eventual Supreme Court nominee.
This week, Senate Republicans reiterated their intentions to forego a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing or vote on any nominee President Obama names to fill the Court’s vacancy, regardless of qualifications.
“The Supreme Court could be deciding extremely important cases this term that will have a real impact on the very people we’re elected to serve and represent. By not acting, the Senate leadership could be effectively shutting down an entire branch of the federal government. The American people deserve better than that. We were sent here to do a job. And while the President has committed to doing his, Senate leadership has promised no votes, no hearings, not even the courtesy of a meeting with any potential nominees. That is not why our constituents elected us,” Warner said.
“We take an oath of office for the Senate and we have an obligation and constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on the President’s nomination. It’s part of the job description,” Kaine said.“Shutting down the nomination process before it has even begun shows fundamental disrespect for the office of the Presidency and complete abdication of Senate responsibility to defend the Constitution. As a person who cares deeply about this institution, I strongly urge my colleagues to reconsider their tactics and to follow the bipartisan tradition of giving full and fair consideration to the President’s nominee.”
For the past century, the Senate has acted on every Supreme Court nomination regardless of whether that nomination was made during a presidential election year. The Senate has previously confirmed at least 17 Supreme Court Justices during presidential election years, including Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was nominated by President Reagan and confirmed by a Democratic Senate in 1988.