Give The People A Voice

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY), Senate Majority Leader: “The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country, so of course the American people should have a say in the Court’s direction…The American people may well elect a President who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration. The next President may also nominate someone very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), Judiciary Committee Chairman: “Today the President has exercised his constitutional authority.  A majority of the Senate has decided to fulfill its constitutional role of advice and consent by withholding support for the nomination during a presidential election year, with millions of votes having been cast in highly charged contests.  As Vice President Biden previously said, it’s a political cauldron to avoid. . . A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics.  The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice.” (Sen. Grassley, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): “I stand with the majority of my Senate colleagues in concluding that the best way to exercise our advice-and-consent power is to conduct the confirmation process after the presidential election. Doing so will keep what should be a serious confirmation discussion from becoming denigrated by the toxic politics of this election season, and it will give the American people a voice in the direction of our nation’s highest court. This approach to the Senate’s advise-and-consent role isn’t about the individual the President has chosen—it’s about the broader principle.” (Sen. Hatch, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “At this critical juncture in our nation's history, Texans and the American people deserve to have a say in the selection of the next lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. The only way to empower the American people and ensure they have a voice is for the next President to make the nomination to fill this vacancy.” (Sen. Cornyn, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): “As I have repeatedly stated, the election cycle is well under way and the precedent of the Senate is not to confirm a nominee at this stage in the process. I strongly support giving the American people a voice in choosing the next Supreme Court nominee by electing a new president. I hope all Americans understand how important their vote is when it comes to picking a new Supreme Court Justice.” (Sen. Graham, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. DAVID VITTER (R-LA): “Rather than have an insider’s political tug-of-war between the President and the Senate over a Supreme Court nomination, the American people should decide through this year’s election. So I'll be doing everything I can to give the American people a voice. The President is well within his constitutional authority to name a nominee – and the Senate is well within our constitutional authority to not hold hearings or a vote.”(Sen. Vitter, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): “In light of the contentious presidential election already well underway, my colleagues and I on the Judiciary Committee have already given our advice and consent on this issue: we will not have any hearings or votes on President Obama’s pick.” (Sen. Lee, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R-GA): “What’s at stake here is the balance of our nation's highest court and the direction of our country for decades. I remain firm in my decision to exercise my Constitutional authority and withhold consent on any nominee to the Supreme Court submitted by President Obama.” (Sen. Perdue, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): “While President Obama is entitled to nominate an individual to the Supreme Court, the Senate has made it clear it will be exercising its Constitutional authority to withhold consent of the nomination. We are in the middle of a presidential election, and the Senate majority is giving the American people a voice to determine the direction of the Supreme Court. This is about the principle, not the person.” (Sen. Tillis, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): “The Senate Republican majority was elected to be a check and balance to President Obama. The American people deserve to have their voices heard on the nomination of the next Supreme Court justice, who could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court for a generation. Since the next presidential election is already underway, the next president should make this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.” (Sen. Thune, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): “A president on his way out of the White House should not make a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. The American people will soon decide our next president. That person should get to choose the next Supreme Court nominee. Give the people a voice, and let them chart the course for the court and the country.” (Sen. Barrasso, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): “This is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. The president has every right to nominate someone, and the Senate has the Constitutional responsibility to decide if it’s the right person at the right time. I will not vote for this nominee to the Supreme Court.” (Sen. Blunt, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. ROGER WICKER (R-MS): “The American people should have the opportunity to make their voices heard before filling a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. In November, the country will get that chance by choosing a new President – a process that is well underway. Until then, our time should be spent addressing the many other legislative matters before us to strengthen our economy, create jobs, and secure our nation.” (Sen. Wicker, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. DAN COATS (R-IN): “Based on these unique circumstances and the precedent established by Democratic leadership including Joe Biden, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, the right thing to do is to give the American people a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. The next president, with input from voters in the upcoming election, should fill the current Supreme Court vacancy.” (Sen. Coats, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): “This issue is not about any single nominee – it’s about the integrity of the Court. With less than a year left in a lame-duck presidency and the long-term ideological balance of the Supreme Court at stake, I believe the American people must have a voice in the direction of the Supreme Court by electing a new president.” (Sen. McCain, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. JIM INHOFE (R-OK): “While I will evaluate the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, the next president should be the one to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. . . Sens. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid have all made statements that the Senate does not have to confirm presidential nominations in an election year. I will oppose this nomination as I firmly believe we must let the people decide the Supreme Court’s future.” (Sen. Inhofe, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R-KS): “By nominating a replacement for Justice Scalia, President Obama is attempting to deny the American people a voice on the next Supreme Court justice. The next justice will have an effect on the courts for decades to come and should not be rushed through by a lame-duck president during an election year. This is not about the nominee, it is about giving the American people and the next president a role in selecting the next Supreme Court justice.” (Sen. Roberts, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL): “This critical decision should be made after the upcoming presidential election so that the American people have a voice.  I am adamantly opposed to any Senate action on President Obama’s nomination of Judge Garland to the Supreme Court, and I urge my conservative colleagues to join me.” (Sen. Shelby, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R-WV): “Before a Supreme Court justice is confirmed to a lifetime position on the bench, West Virginians and the American people should have the ability to weigh in at the ballot box this November. My position does not change with the naming of a nominee today.” (Sen. Moore Capito, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “[T]he next president of the United States should have the opportunity to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. . . Our next election is too soon and the stakes are too high; the American people deserve a role in this process as the next Supreme Court Justice will influence the direction of this country for years to come.” (Sen. Gardner, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): “The Constitution does not make the Senate a rubber stamp for any president. . .The next President should fill the open seat on the Supreme Court, not a lame duck.  Our nation is in the middle of an election that will replace this president and it has brought people out in every corner of our country in record numbers to have their voice heard.  As elected officials, we need to protect the American people’s chance to have their voices heard in the decision on who will be appointed to a lifetime seat on the nation’s high court.” (Sen. Scott, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (R-NH): “In the midst of a presidential election and a consequential debate about the future of our country, I believe the American people deserve to have a voice in the direction of the court. I continue to believe the Senate should not move forward with the confirmation process until the people have spoken by electing a new president.” (Sen. Ayotte, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): “With the U.S. Supreme Court's balance at stake, and with the presidential election fewer than eight months away, it is wise to give the American people a more direct voice in the selection and confirmation of the next justice. Should Merrick Garland be nominated again by the next president, I would be happy to carefully consider his nomination, as I have done with dozens of judges submitted by President Obama.” (Sen. Toomey Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. DAN SULLIVAN (R-AK): “The President has the constitutional authority to nominate and the U.S. Senate has the authority to advise and consent. The decision to withhold advancement of Mr. Garland’s nomination isn’t about the individual, it’s about the principle. . . Alaskans deserve to have a voice in that direction through their vote, and we will ensure that they have one.” (Sen. Sullivan, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): “I believe the best thing for the country is to trust the American people and allow them to weigh in on this issue.  This is the same position that Vice President Biden and Senators Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer have outlined in the past. This is about the principle, not the person.  I believe that awaiting the result of a democratic election, rather than having a nomination fight in this partisan election-year environment, will give the nominee more legitimacy and better preserve the Court’s credibility as an institution.” (Sen. Portman, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): “[G]iven the timing of this vacancy, in the middle of a Presidential election and in an increasingly toxic political environment, I had urged the President to refrain from naming a nominee. I believe he should have left that task to the next administration. . . Any nominee is likely to become a political football in the midst of this already contentious and divisive campaign season. This is not good for the nominee, it is not good for the court, and it is not good for the American people.” (Sen. Murkowski, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): “Article 2, section 2 of the Constitution gives the President and the Senate an equal 50-50 responsibility in the process of filling a Supreme Court vacancy. . . While the Constitution says the President shall nominate judges to the Supreme Court, it does not say the Senate shall approve a nominee. Based on previous historical precedent, I support Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s intent to give the American people a say in Justice Scalia’s replacement this year at the ballot box.” (Sen. Lankford, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): “In a few short months, we will have a new President and new Senators who can consider the next Justice with the full faith of the people. . . I respect President Obama's right to nominate someone to the Supreme Court. But the stakes are high and we cannot rush this decision. This nomination should not be considered by the Senate at this time.” (Sen. Cotton, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. JOHN BOOZMAN (R-AR): “The President has a Constitutional right to nominate a candidate to fill this vacancy, but the Senate has made it clear that we do not intend move forward on it. The Constitution clearly defines the roles of each branch and the President's ends with selecting a candidate for the vacancy. . . Our country is very split and we are in the midst of a highly contested presidential election. My colleagues and I are committed to giving the American people a voice in the direction the court will take for generations to come.” (Sen. Boozman, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON (R-GA): “The Constitution gives the responsibility of Supreme Court appointments to two branches of government, not just one. As a senator who has the duty of advice and consent, I believe the American people should have a voice in this process by allowing the next president to select and the next Senate to confirm Justice Scalia’s replacement.” (Sen. Isakson, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IA): “In the midst of a critical election, the American people deserve to have a say in this important decision that will impact the course of our country for years to come. This is not about any particular nominee; rather this is about giving the American people a voice. . . I support Senator Grassley’s decision to exercise the Senate’s constitutional authority to withhold consent to a Supreme Court nomination until the next president is sworn in.” (Sen. Ernst, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT): “The American people have already begun voting on who the next President will be and their voice should continue to be reflected in a process that will have lasting implications on our nation. The U.S. Senate should exercise its constitutional powers by not confirming a new Supreme Court justice until the American people elect a new President and have their voices heard. I will oppose any hearing or votes for President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court.” (Sen. Daines, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. MIKE CRAPO (R-ID): “The Constitution gives the President the right to make nominations to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate.  As part of its role in this process, the Senate may, at its discretion, withhold consent.  The next Supreme Court justice will make decisions that affect every American and shape our nation’s legal landscape for decades.  Therefore, the current Supreme Court vacancy should be filled by an individual nominated by the next President of the United States.” (Sen. Crapo, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. MIKE ROUNDS (R-SD): “[W]e should wait to confirm the next Supreme Court justice until after a new president takes office. Overwhelmingly South Dakotans who have contacted my office agree with this decision. . . We also owe it to the American people to make certain their voice is heard in this election. For these reasons I agree with my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee and in the Senate leadership that we should not hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee until after our new president takes office.” (Sen. Rounds, Floor Remarks, 3/16/2016)



Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Supreme Court