WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on today’s nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court:
“In choosing Chief Judge Garland to fill this vacancy, President Obama has demonstrated his commitment to the Constitution and our democracy to make sure that the Supreme Court is fully equipped to serve our nation with its full complement of nine justices.
Judge Garland is the most well-prepared Supreme Court nominee in generations. From Supreme Court clerk, to the Justice Department, to the private sector, to overseeing the prosecutions of the Oklahoma City bombers, to Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit, Garland has more federal judicial experience than any nominee in history. His 1997 bipartisan confirmation was supported by seven sitting Republican Senators: Dan Coats, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Orrin Hatch, James Inhofe, John McCain, and Pat Roberts.
Filling this vacancy should absolutely be a priority for the Senate. Now that the president has done his job, it’s time for Senate Republicans to drop their unprecedented and destructive blockade on any nominee. To do otherwise would create a constitutional crisis and handcuff all three branches of government.
We will mobilize our massive network of civil rights advocates, legal scholars, and everyday people who care about democracy and our Constitution to make sure that the Senate does its job.
We applaud today’s nomination and urge the Senate to provide a fair hearing and a timely confirmation vote.”
Wade Henderson is president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.