Voters have already accepted Merrick Garland — by electing Obama twice
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Here is my answer to the recent Contributors piece by Michael A. Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America, who stated that voters have already rejected Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland because they elected Republicans in 2010 and 2014.

In fact, voters elected President Obama in 2008, and reelected him in 2012. Let me remind Mr. Needham that it is the prerogative and responsibility of the president to nominate justices for the Supreme Court, and the president is Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaNRATV host says Obama owes Parkland students an apology over shooting Paltry wage gains, rising deficits two key tax reform concerns Throwing some cold water on all of the Korean summit optimism MORE. And Obama was elected twice, whether Mr. Needham, Heritage Action, the Tea Party or Republicans like it or not.

It is true that it is the responsibility of the Senate to provide "Advice and Consent" on presidential appointees. It is not the responsibility of the Senate to obstruct and destroy, to turn the Senate into a banana-republic institution that, by its odious behavior toward Garland, has renewed its status as a symbol of the kind of obstruction and dysfunction that has led almost 80 percent of the American people to express their disapproval of the Republican Senate, and the Republican House, according to summaries of polling from RealClearPolitics.

When Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senator: Democratic opposition to Pompeo 'driven 100 percent by politics' Pompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees MORE (R-Ky.) became Senate majority leader, he vowed to bring fairness and dignity back to the Senate. Instead, on the great matter of justice under law, he is acting more like Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz's Dem challenger slams Time piece praising Trump Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election 32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules MORE (R-Texas) by seeking to force a government shutdown of the Supreme Court in the same way that the only thing Cruz achieved in his short career in the Senate was to become known as the champion of the government shutdown in Washington.

Garland has spent a career becoming one of the most respected jurists in America, praised by long lists of Republicans (as well as long lists of Democrats), including Senate Republicans who sang his praises and proudly supported his confirmation to the federal bench.

Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison would be appalled by the behavior of McConnell today. Presidents Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Reagan would be appalled by the behavior of McConnell and his Senate Republicans today and must be mourning in heaven what has become of the Republican Party, which is on the brink of nominating for president a Republican so bad that some prominent Republicans are seriously considering supporting Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton takes swipe at 'false equivalency' in media coverage of 2016 election Former presidents, first ladies come together to honor Barbara Bush Romney: Parts of Comey book read 'too much like a novel’ MORE if front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpClinton takes swipe at 'false equivalency' in media coverage of 2016 election Trump asked Netanyahu if he actually cares about peace: report Official: Trump to urge North Korea to dismantle nuclear program in return for sanctions relief MORE gets the nomination.

Speaking of Trump, he is condemning and running against the Republicans in Congress with almost the same ferocity that Cruz condemns Republican leadership in Congress (in July, Cruz called McConnell a liar).

If the Republican Party of Trump wants to claim that by electing Tea Party Republicans in 2010 and 2014, they have a mandate to obstruct a Supreme Court nominee that many Republicans have spent two decades joining Democrats in praising, they might consider why almost 80 of Americans disapprove of Republicans in Congress.

I would rather have a Supreme Court justice than an issue, but if Republicans want to make the claim that what voters supported in 2010 and 2014 was to bring a government shutdown of the Supreme Court forced by a Republican Congress that is disapproved by a huge majority of the nation — well, we can fight that out in November and I warn them: make my day!

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at