Durbin: The American People Have Already Spoken to Give President Obama the Authority to Nominate a Supreme Court Justice

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the United States Senate Floor for the third time this week to call on Senate Republicans to uphold their Constitutional obligation to consider the President’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.


“Three years and three months ago the American people chose a President. By a margin of five million votes, Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney for President of the United States. They made their selection. Did they elect President Obama for three years? A three-year term? Let me check the Constitution, but I think it was a four-year term. Was it three years and three months? No. It turns out the American people spoke in our democracy by a margin of five million votes and said Barack Obama, you will be President of the United States until January 20, 2017,” Durbin said.


Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate Floor is available here.


Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate Floor is available here.


Senate Republicans announced earlier this 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 67 days 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.