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The Senate’s Confirmation Shutdown

Posted by Steve Schram on June 09, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Originally published on June 9, 2016 on The New York Times by The Editorial Board.

Remember Merrick Garland, the veteran federal judge President Obama nominated in mid-March to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia? That was 85 days ago, and Judge Garland still hasn’t gotten a hearing, much less a confirmation vote, even though he is unquestionably qualified and widely respected by Republicans and Democrats alike.

The Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, refuse to act because they want to deny Mr. Obama another seat on the court, regardless of the nominee’s qualifications. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court sits hamstrung,unable to deliver conclusive rulings on some of the most pressing legal issues facing the country.

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