Civil and Human Rights Coalition Decries Republican Inaction Six Months after Garland’s Nomination

Media 09.15,16

WASHINGTON – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in advance of the September 16 six-month anniversary of Chief Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court:

“Six months ago, President Obama demonstrated his commitment to the Constitution by nominating Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Six months later, Senate Republican leadership is still obstructing that nomination – handcuffing the Court from making determinative rulings on critical issues and limiting the number of cases accepted for its next term.

Last week, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on his Republican colleagues to confirm Garland before the new term begins on October 4. We echo that call. After taking an unusually long summer recess, senators should do their job and hold a hearing next week, followed immediately by a confirmation vote.

While they’re at it, they should do something about the number of lower court vacancies across the country – a figure that has skyrocketed since Republicans took control of the Senate last year and only continues to climb. There are 25 nominees pending on the Senate floor who could be confirmed in minutes. We trust Majority Leader McConnell can spare that much time to help more Americans access the justice they deserve.

As we commemorate Constitution Day, we urge Senate Republican leadership to fulfill their constitutional responsibility. They should hold a hearing and a vote on Garland immediately.”

Nancy Zirkin is executive vice president 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, visit