Call Your Senators:
No Confirmation of Supreme Court Nominee

March 17, 2016

On March 16th, President Obama announced his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to succeed the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate should follow the famous advice of the late First Lady Nancy Reagan and “just say no” to Obama’s nominee.

The media are portraying Judge Garland as a “moderate” and a “centrist” – but that’s what they also said about Obama’s two previous nominees (Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor) and Bill Clinton’s two nominees (Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer). Yet all four of those so-called “moderates” voted in lockstep for the Windsor and Obergefell decisions, which overturned the definition of marriage in federal and state laws.

In his current position as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which hears disputes involving federal regulations, Judge Garland has not had the opportunity to rule directly on marriage or abortion. However, in two cases he voted against the individual right to keep and bear arms, thereby signaling a “strong hostility to gun owner rights.”

On the wide range of critical issues coming before the Supreme Court, Judge Garland’s views are no different from those of the two Justices already appointed to the bench by Obama. More importantly, his selection comes just as voters have the chance to end Obama’s stated goal of “fundamentally transforming” our country.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia was the Supreme Court’s most outspoken conservative, so anyone nominated by President Obama would shift the balance of the Court to the left. The New York Times admitted that “If Judge Garland is confirmed, he could tip the ideological balance to create the most liberal Supreme Court in 50 years.” Even if he is “moderate” in his temperament, Judge Garland would certainly be a reliable fifth vote for liberal Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Those five Justices would form a liberal working majority on the Supreme Court.

Don’t let a lame-duck president make an appointment that would extend liberal control over the Supreme Court for decades to come. Americans deserve a chance to weigh in on this momentous decision by voting for a president they know will pick at least one new justice. The Court can continue to function with eight justices indefinitely. An appointment can wait.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) take the correct position and say that they will not consider any nominee this year. Encourage your senators to do the same. Call or email your senator and say that no Supreme Court appointment should be considered until a new president takes office.

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Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121