WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks 100 days since President Obama nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the vacant seat on the Supreme Court of the United States on March 16, 2016. The inaction by the Senate Majority has created a stalemate at the Supreme Court, which has impaired the court’s ability to resolve some of the most significant cases that have come before it this term.
Just yesterday, the court deadlocked 4-4 in United States v. Texas, an important case concerning the President’s executive action on immigration reform, stating that, “the judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.” This is not the first case this term that was deadlocked. Without a full complement of nine justices on our nation’s highest court, critical issues may not be resolved, leaving lower federal district and circuit courts in limbo.
“One hundred days have now passed since President Obama nominated Judge Garland to fill the vacant seat on our nation’s highest court,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “We now enter unchartered territory as the Senate Majority continues to refuse to carry forth its constitutional obligation and provide Judge Garland a hearing and a floor vote. The Supreme Court is the final arbiter on some of the most complex issues in our nation. It is time to for the Senate to stop playing politics with the court and commence with hearings to ensure that our nation’s highest court is able to effectively carry forth its central role in our democracy.”
Prior justices named to the court have only had to wait an average of 74 days between nomination and confirmation. In May, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) released a report evaluating Judge Merrick Garland’s full record on civil rights issues. To read the full report, click here.