‘President’s Nominee Should Be Considered Fairly'
‘Unfortunately, far-left special interest groups are already calling on Senate Democrats to oppose anyone on President Trump’s long list of potential nominees… Fortunately, we have every reason to expect an outstanding selection. President Trump’s judicial nominations to date have reflected a keen understanding of the vital role that judges play in our constitutional order -- interpreting the law fairly.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding yesterday’s announcement from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy that he will retire on July 31, 2018:
“First, I want to take another opportunity to pay tribute to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced yesterday that he’ll retire from active service and assume senior status at the end of July. Justice Kennedy deserves our sincere thanks for his service and our congratulations on a remarkable career. He has served our nation on the federal bench for 43 years, thirty of which he spent as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“His contributions to American jurisprudence have been many. In particular, he’s earned our gratitude for his steadfast defense of the vital First Amendment right to political speech. So we congratulate Justice Kennedy, his wife Mary, and their entire family on this well-earned retirement. We wish them every happiness during the additional time they’ll get to spend together in the years ahead.
“As I stated yesterday, the Senate stands ready to fulfill our constitutional role by offering advice and consent on President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy that Justice Kennedy’s retirement will create. The Senate will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy’s successor this fall. This is not 2016. These aren’t the final months of a second-term, constitutionally lame-duck presidency with a presidential election fast approaching. We are right in the middle of this president’s first term.
“To my knowledge, nobody on either side has ever suggested before yesterday that the Senate should only process Supreme Court nominations in odd-numbered years. The situation today is much like when Justice Kagan was confirmed in 2010. And when Justice Breyer was confirmed in 1994. And Justice Souter, in 1990. In each case, the president was about a year and a half into his first term.
“So, just like in numerous other occasions, the process to confirm Justice Kennedy’s successor will take place this year. As in the case of Justice Gorsuch, Senators will have the opportunity to meet with President Trump’s nominee, examine his or her qualifications, and debate the nomination. I’m confident Chairman Grassley will capably lead the Judiciary Committee through the confirmation process that lies before us.
“The president’s nominee should be considered fairly and not be subjected to personal attacks. Unfortunately, far-left special interest groups are already calling on Senate Democrats to oppose anyone on President Trump’s long list of potential nominees. The ink wasn’t even dry on Justice Kennedy’s resignation letter before my friend the Democratic Leader seemed to echo that, right here on the floor -- that none of the exceptional legal minds on this list would be tolerable to him.
“Think of that. These are 25 Americans from all over the country who have excelled in their professions. The idea that any of them -- let alone all of them -- would be automatically unacceptable is totally absurd. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this may just be a precursor of all the unfair attacks to come, both from inside and outside the Senate.
“Fortunately, we have every reason to expect an outstanding selection. President Trump’s judicial nominations to date have reflected a keen understanding of the vital role that judges play in our constitutional order -- interpreting the law fairly. Applying it even-handedly. Setting aside personal preferences and assessing what the law actually says. These traits have characterized the excellent nominees the president has already sent to the Senate. I look forward to another such nomination.”
Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Senate Democrats, Nominations, Supreme Court