Durbin Meets With Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland, Calls On Senate GOP To Do Their Job

Unprecedented Republican obstruction has left Supreme Court deadlocked eight times, Garland waiting longer than any nominee in U.S. history

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Illinois native and Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland about the status of his nomination and the need to give him a hearing and a vote in the Senate. Following the meeting, Durbin spoke on the Senate floor about Republicans’ unprecedented obstruction of Garland’s nomination and blasted them for failing to fulfill their constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on the president’s nominees. Garland was nominated 182 days ago, the longest any Supreme Court nominee has awaited consideration.
“Why would the Republican majority in the Senate go out on a limb and take a position that's never been taken before in the history of the United States to deny Merrick Garland a hearing and a vote? Well, because there are certain people in high places who want to see a president named Donald Trump fill this vacancy. They believe that he would pick a person closer to their political liking, someone who would serve their economic interests,” said Durbin. “It’s a shame, it’s unfortunate, and some would argue, unconstitutional…It is a sad chapter in the history of the United States Senate, written for political reasons, at the expense of a man who should have his day before a hearing, in sworn testimony, to tell us how he would like to continue to serve this nation.”
Over the past three decades, it has taken the Senate an average of two months to consider Supreme Court nominees from nomination to confirmation. Since the Senate Judiciary Committee began holding hearings on Supreme Court nominees a century ago, no pending Supreme Court nominee has ever been denied a hearing.
The Supreme Court has deadlocked eight times since the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia caused the vacancy.
Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.
Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.
Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available for TV Stations using FTP in high definition here and in standard definition here.