It is Time To End Unpatriotic Obstruction in the Senate

Posted by Trevor Tejeda-Gervais on March 31, 2016

The Senate has a constitutional duty and obligation to do their job and give any Supreme Court nominee a fair hearing and timely vote. We are pleased to see that Senator Kirk has pledged to do his job and rejected Senator McConnell’s obstruction. But that alone is not enough. It’s absurd that the gridlock in Washington has gotten so bad that calling for a hearing makes you stand apart from the crowd.

We’re pleased he’s doing his job – but he needs to do more, and convince his colleagues to join him. Today, we’re calling on Senator Kirk to urge his colleagues to do their jobs. And we’re motivating our members, too. More than 85,000 people have used to call on their senators to hold a hearing and a yes-or-no vote on Judge Garland.

Illinoisans want government to work. The politics of obstruction, like government shutdowns and blocking nominations, represent a style of politics that people are tired of and have repeatedly rejected. Obstruction is irresponsible. It is irresponsible to leave this seat vacant for almost two terms while major cases on important issues to the American people are before the court.

To be clear, there is no precedent for obstructing the nomination process. Supreme Court justices have been confirmed in election years before: Six Justices have been confirmed in presidential election years, including three Republican appointees.  Another 11 have been confirmed in non-Presidential election years.  The most recent was Justice Kennedy, a Reagan appointee, confirmed by a Democratic-controlled Congress in February 1988, just 65 days after his nomination in November.

The American people elected President Obama to a four-year term by more than five million votes. In America, we have one President at a time and Barack Obama has nearly a quarter of his second term ahead of him. The Senators like Sen. Kirk and Sen. Durbin who have spoken out against obstructionism and committed to giving President Obama’s nominee a fair chance are doing the job they were elected to do. It’s time for the rest of the Republicans in the Senate to join them and reject this unpatriotic obstructionism.

As a nonpartisan organization, Common Cause simply asks the Senate to complete their constitutional duty and to do their job by giving any Supreme Court Nominee a fair hearing and a timely vote. We thank Senator Kirk for committing to do his job, and we hope he will urge his colleagues to do the same.

Office: Common Cause Illinois, Common Cause National

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Media Contact

Trevor Tejeda-Gervais Midwest Organizing Director, Common Cause Ph: (312) 372-2422

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