Durbin: Politics Do Not Trump the Constitution

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the United States Senate Floor today to speak out against Senate Republicans prioritization of politics over their constitutional duties. “Well, it turns out it doesn’t take much constitutional study to realize the Constitution applies to election years as well as every other year. There is no reference whatsoever to a presidential campaign year absolving either the President or the Senate from their constitutional obligation,” Durbin said.


“One of the great ironies of the Senate Republicans’ decision was the backroom deal they used to reach it. This is unprecedented obstruction of a Supreme Court nominee. And this decision to obstruct wasn’t made by the American people. It was a unilateral, partisan decision made by a handful of Republican Senators behind closed doors.”


Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.


Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.


Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available for TV Stations using FTP in high definition here and in standard definition here.


Senate Republicans announced last week that the Senate Judiciary Committee will not hold a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee, and that senior Republican Senators will decline to meet with that nominee, as is customary.


Since the Senate Judiciary Committee started holding hearings on Supreme Court nominees a century ago, no pending Supreme Court nominee has ever been denied a hearing. In fact, in the past three decades it has taken the Senate an average of about two months to consider Supreme Court nominees from nomination to confirmation.


Durbin has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee for 16 years, during which time he has considered the nominations of four current Supreme Court justices. He is also the Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, formerly known as the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over all constitutional issues.