On March 16, President Barack Obama formally nominated Merrick Garland — a centrist (in the minds of many) Court of Appeals judge in DC who the President called “one of America’s sharpest legal minds,” — to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court held by the late Antonin Scalia.
In the months since then, Garland has not been approved to join the bench. He hasn’t even gotten a vote from Senate Republicans. They instead pointed to the amount of time left in the Obama Presidency — ten months from March — as a reason to forego a vote altogether, noting that the next administration should make a nomination instead. House Speaker Paul Ryan defended the official GOP stance, saying at the time, “It is about a basic principle. Under our Constitution, the president has every right to make this nomination, and the Senate has every right not to confirm a nominee.”
So Garland has remained in judiciary limbo; and this morning during an interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Democratic party nominee Hillary Clinton floated the idea that she would perhaps not seek to push through Garland, but instead look elsewhere for fill the Scalia vacancy.
The former Secretary of State said Thursday morning, “If I have the opportunity to make any Supreme Court appointments, I’m going to look broadly and widely for people who represent the diversity of our country and bring some common sense, real world experience.”
Although she was asked point blank by Roland Martin moments before about the possibility of “pull[ing]” the Garland nomination, Clinton did not invoke Garland’s name directly in her response.
Roland Martin’s full question was, “If you become President, will you ask the President to pull Merrick Garland’s nomination to allow someone younger to be in his place and if you do, will the appointment be the first African-American woman nominee in history?”
Clinton’s response is below:
I think we should stick with one President at a time. We happen to have a very good one, in my opinion and he has nominated someone. It’s a disgrace that the Senate, under Republican leadership, has failed to act on his nominee which is why we need to elect Democrats to the Senate. I’m going to let this president serve out his term with distinction and make the decisions that he thinks are right for the country.I think he’s got a pretty good track record and he’s earned that right.
If I have the opportunity to make any Supreme Court appointments, I’m going to look broadly and widely for people who represent the diversity of our country and bring some common sense, real world experience. I’m still outraged at what the Supreme Court did to the Voting Rights Act. I was in the Senate and I voted to reauthorize it, as did 98 of my colleagues, Democratic and Republican alike. George Bush signed it.
And then this Supreme Court, with this conservative majority at the time, said ‘Oh, we don’t need the Voting Rights Act anymore.’ What a charade. And you can see what’s happening. I see it every day. There is a concerted effort to try to shrink the franchise, make it difficult for people to vote and stop them at the polls. The only way to fix it is for a lot of people to turn out and say ‘We’re not going to stand for this.’ That’s why we need a Supreme Court that actually represents the people of this country and our most fundamental values.
[h/t Black America Web]
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