New England Politicians React to Nomination of Merrick Garland

New England Senators and other politicians offered their remarks on the president's nomination

On Wednesday afternoon President Obama nominated Washington D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

New England politicians released statements about the nomination, some urging the Senate to confirm the nomination, others encouraging senators to wait until the next president takes office.

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey urged the Senate to "fulfill its constitutional obligation to provide it's 'Advice and Consent' on the nomination.

Markey added, "If Senate Republicans refuse to hold a hearing on Judge Garland’s nomination, it will constitute an historic failure to do their job. Senate Republicans must do their job and give the American people the fully functioning Supreme Court to which they are entitled under the Constitution.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren, also from Massachusetts, praised Garland for his accomplishments and said, "Along the way, he has won praise from Democratic and Republican Senators, liberals and conservatives - even the Bush-appointed Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court."

Warren urged the Senate to "do its job" and take the necessary steps to review the nomination fairly.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy congratulated Garland and said, his "qualifications are impeccable...he is widely admired throughout the legal profession and is one of the most accomplished judges on the federal bench."

Leahy added, "The President consulted with both Republican and Democratic Senators before making this nomination. Now it is time for the Senate to do its job."

The second senator from Vermont, Peter Welch, argued, "The Senate has an obligation to conduct a fair hearing on his nomination and hold an up or down vote. A failure to do so will undermine the effectiveness of the Supreme Court."

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy called on the Senate to confirm the nomination as well.

Murphy said, "When each one of us took the oath of office, we swore to support and defend the Constitution and to faithfully discharge the duties of a Senator. If Senate Republicans refuse to consider the president’s nominee, they will be willingly violating the spirit of that sworn oath."

Maine senator Susan Collins released a statement as well.

She said, "When deciding whether to support a nominee, I consider the individual’s intellect, integrity, qualifications, experience, temperament, and respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. This is the approach I have taken with every judicial nominee who has come before me throughout my service in the Senate, and that is the process that I will follow with this nomination as well."

Jeanne Shaheen, senator from New Hampshire said she was looking forward to meeting Judge Garland and "reviewing his qualification."

She also added, "Without question, the American people expect us to do our jobs. The Senate has a longstanding bipartisan tradition of giving fair consideration to Supreme Court nominees and I will continue to honor that tradition."

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte believes the new president should nominate the next Supreme Court Justice.

She said, "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.”

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan is running for Senator against Ayotte.

Hassan released a statement criticizing Ayotte for her decision not to confirm the new nominee.

Hassan said, "Rather than do her constitutional duty, Senator Ayotte has decided to cater to her party leaders and her special interest backers by playing politics with justice for millions of Americans."

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