Editorial: Sen. Blunt Should Give Supreme Court Nominee a Fair Hearing

By Board, the | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), March 17, 2016 | Go to article overview

Editorial: Sen. Blunt Should Give Supreme Court Nominee a Fair Hearing


Board, the, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Obstructionist GOP senatorsare vowing to block President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick B. Garland to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Voters should watch closely whether Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt treats this nomination with the respect and seriousness it deserves or gives priority to partisan maneuvering.

The president and Senate are constitutionally required to address the Supreme Court vacancy and return the court to full strength. Imposing artificial delays for partisan purposes is the mark of a weak leader. Is this how Blunt proposes to win another six-year term?

By the GOP's own standards, Garland is eminently qualified and deserves a fair hearing. The call by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his colleagues to blindly refuse a hearing until after the November presidential election is appallingly irresponsible.

Garland, 63, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is a centrist with bipartisan credentials who has been praised by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Like Scalia, he attended Harvard Law School, and like justices Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor, he is a former prosecutor. He shares his background on the powerful D.C. Circuit court with Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Scalia.

When Obama was considering Garland for the seat that went to Justice Elena Kagan in 2010, The New York Times reported that Hatch "privately made clear to the president that he considered Judge Garland a good choice. …

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