President Obama continued the fight over the Supreme Court vacancy in his weekly address, urging Republicans to give nominee Merrick Garland a hearing and vote.
GOP leadership has stood firm in its refusal to hold a hearing on any Obama nominee since just after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death last month, facing tough backlash from Democrats and wariness within the party.
Garland is viewed as a moderate judge and received substantial support from Republicans when he was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court, where he is now chief judge.
Obama used his address to talk up Garland’s experience and professionalism and mentioned Garland’s involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing case.
“I selected a nominee whose unmatched experience and integrity have earned him the respect and admiration of both parties,” the president said. “Judge Garland is admired for his courtesy, his devotion to family, and his civic-mindedness – for the past 18 years he’s served as a tutor for young students at a local D.C. elementary school.”
Obama said refusing to act on Garland’s nomination could harm the process of filling Supreme Court seats “beyond repair.”
“To go down that path would jeopardize our system of justice, it would hurt our democracy, and betray the vision of our founding,” he said.
“I fulfilled my Constitutional duty. Now it’s time for senators to do theirs.”