Arguments for Confirming Merrick Garland in 2016 Support Confirming Trump’s Nominee Now

COMMENTARY Courts

Arguments for Confirming Merrick Garland in 2016 Support Confirming Trump’s Nominee Now

Sep 24th, 2020 1 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Thomas Jipping

Deputy Director, Center for Legal and Judicial Studies

Thomas is the Deputy Director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and a Senior Legal Fellow.
President Barack Obama nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the D.C. Circuit to the Scalia vacancy on March 16, 2016. Bill Chizek/Getty Images

Key Takeaways

The Senate decides for itself how to handle nominations, and it has handled Supreme Court nominations many different ways, depending on the circumstances.

The bottom line is that the Senate’s responsibility of advice and consent begins with determining the best way to handle each nomination.

The Senate would be on solid ground to proceed with the confirmation process for filling the Ginsburg vacancy.

For the second time in four years, a sitting Supreme Court justice has died during a presidential election year. Justice Antonin Scalia died Feb. 13, 2016, and his friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Sept. 18, 2020. The question is how the president and Senate will approach this new vacancy.

The appointment process, including a nomination by the president and consideration by the Senate, follows the same basic pattern most of the time. But it’s a mistake to think it must always happen that way. The Constitution gives the Senate not only the power of “advice and consent,” but also authority to determine its own “rules of proceeding.”

In other words, the Senate decides for itself how to handle nominations, and it has handled Supreme Court nominations at least a dozen different ways, depending on the circumstances.

To read the full article, visit The Federalist.

This piece originally appeared in The Federalist