News Releases

Murray: “If Republicans continue to play election year politics and continue to refuse to do their jobs – Washington state families will not have a voice. Families across America will not have a voice.”
 
“So once again, I call on my Republican colleagues to do your job – meet with Judge Garland, hold a hearing, and give him a vote.”
 
 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) called on her Republican colleagues once again to give the President’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, fair consideration for the Supreme Court vacancy. On the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, Senator Murray highlighted Judge Garland’s outstanding service as a top official in the Justice Department, who led the initial investigation of the bombing and fought for justice on behalf of families who lost loved ones. Senator Murray called on Republicans to do their jobs and give Judge Garland fair consideration, a hearing, and a vote.

 

“We are 66 days into this Supreme Court vacancy—and so far, Republican leaders are still refusing to do their jobs,” said Senator Murray. “They won’t say that they are opposed to Judge Garland—they are refusing to even live up to their constitutional responsibility and consider him! This kind of pure obstruction and partisanship is absolutely wrong—people across the country aren’t going to stand for it.”

 

In February, Senator Murray called on Republicans on the Senate floor to put constitution and country above partisanship and obstruction and consider a Supreme Court nominee as the Constitution requires.

 

Excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“As many of my colleagues have noted, today marks twenty one-years since the Oklahoma City Bombing, an attack that shocked the world and took 168 innocent lives…Judge Merrick Garland, the President’s nominee for the Supreme Court, was at the scene of the bombing within two days. With debris from the Alred P. Murrah federal building still smoldering in the streets, Judge Garland was helping first responders and working with local law enforcement. And as a top official in the Justice Department, he led a massive investigation of the bombing, and supervised the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh. And he did all of this, even if it meant more work, and more time away from his family—with incredible delicacy and thoroughness.”

 

“He called his work for the Justice Department following the Oklahoma City Bombing the most important thing he has ever done in his life. As we remember those who were lost on that day in 1995, and in light of last week being National Crime Victims Week, we remember how Judge Garland honored those victims with his dedicated service.”

 

We are 66 days into this Supreme Court vacancy—and so far, Republican leaders are still refusing to do their jobs. They won’t say that they are opposed to Judge Garland—they are refusing to even live up to their constitutional responsibility and consider him! This kind of pure obstruction and partisanship is absolutely wrong—people across the country aren’t going to stand for it.”

 

“Evaluating and confirming Supreme Court Justices is one of the most important roles we have in the United States Senate. And it is this issue that pushed me to run for the Senate in the first place. In 1991, I was a State Senator, a former school board member, and a mom. Like so many people across the country back then, I watched the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in frustration over how the nominee wasn’t pushed on the issues that I and so many others thought were so important to the future of our country. I saw how a woman who came to talk about her experiences—Anita Hill—was treated by the Senate.  And I decided then and there to run for the Senate, to give Washington state families like mine a voice in the process.”

 

“If Republicans continue to play election year politics and continue to refuse to do their jobs – Washington state families will not have a voice. Families across America will not have a voice. And the Tea Party gridlock and dysfunction that has dominated too much of our work here in Congress will have claimed another victory. That is unacceptable.”

 

Senator Murray’s remarks as prepared:

 

“M. President, I come to the Senate floor today to once again urge my Republican colleagues to - do what they were elected to do, listen to their constituents, and give Judge Garland the fair consideration he deserves. M. President, as many of my colleagues have noted, today marks twenty one-years since the Oklahoma City Bombing, an attack that shocked the world and took 168 innocent lives.

 

“I had the honor or meeting with an individual last week who was not only involved in the immediate aftermath of this terrible attack, but who went above and beyond to make sure justice was served on behalf of those who lost their lives. Judge Merrick Garland, the President’s nominee for the Supreme Court, was at the scene of the bombing within two days.

 

“With debris from the Alred P. Murrah federal building still smoldering in the streets, Judge Garland was helping first responders and working with local law enforcement. And as a top official in the Justice Department, he led a massive investigation of the bombing, and supervised the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh. And he did all of this, even if it meant more work, and more time away from his family—with incredible delicacy and thoroughness.

 

“He called his work for the Justice Department following the Oklahoma City Bombing the most important thing he has ever done in his life. M. President, as we remember those who were lost on that day in 1995, and in light of last week being National Crime Victims Week, we remember how Judge Garland honored those victims with his dedicated service.

 

“Judge Garland not only did his job with a great deal of heart, working with families who had lost loved ones, but with the vigor to demand that justice be served. His fairness and diligence earned him praise from members of both parties, from victims’ families and law enforcement officers – and even from the lead lawyer defending McVeigh. So M. President, a person like that, driven by the desire to help people and serve the public, is someone who deserves fair consideration by all of us here in the United States Senate. But M. President, unfortunately, that is not what is happening right now.

 

“We are 66 days into this Supreme Court vacancy—and so far, Republican leaders are still refusing to do their jobs. They won’t say that they are opposed to Judge Garland—they are refusing to even live up to their constitutional responsibility and consider him! M. President, this kind of pure obstruction and partisanship is absolutely wrong—people across the country aren’t going to stand for it.

 

“Last week I met with Judge Garland and talked through his background, experiences, and judicial philosophy. And what I found out – and it would be difficult for any right-minded person not to come to this conclusion after meeting him – is that Judge Garland is highly passionate, highly respected, and highly qualified to serve on the United States Supreme Court. I am very glad that some Republicans have started meeting with him—that’s a good first step. But it can’t be the last step.

 

“Families across the country deserve to hear from Judge Garland in a Judiciary Committee hearing, under oath and in public. And then he should get a vote where every Senator will have the opportunity to do their job and weigh in. If any member doesn’t think Judge Garland should serve on the highest court in the land—they should feel free to vote against him. But give him a hearing—give him a vote—and stop this partisanship and obstruction.

 

“M. President, evaluating and confirming Supreme Court Justices is one of the most important roles we have in the United States Senate. And it is this issue that pushed me to run for the Senate in the first place. In 1991, I was a State Senator, a former school board member, and a mom. Like so many people across the country back then, I watched the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in frustration over how the nominee wasn’t pushed on the issues that I and so many others thought were so important to the future of our country. I saw how a woman who came to talk about her experiences—Anita Hill—was treated by the Senate.  And I decided then and there to run for the Senate, to give Washington state families like mine a voice in the process.

 

“M. President, I have had the opportunity to use that voice here in the Senate—and to make sure Washington state families had a seat at the table in Supreme Court confirmations over the years. I voted to support some candidates—including the Chief Justice, nominated by a Republican President. I voted to oppose others. But I always thought it was important that a nominee get the consideration that he or she deserves. And I always worked to make sure the people I represented got their questions answered as best as I could—and that they could have a view into this process that should be above partisanship and politics.

 

“But M. President, if Republicans continue to play election year politics and continue to refuse to do their jobs – Washington state families will not have a voice. Families across America will not have a voice. And the Tea Party gridlock and dysfunction that has dominated too much of our work here in Congress will have claimed another victory. M. President, that is unacceptable. So once again, I call on my Republican colleagues to do your job – meet with Judge Garland, hold a hearing, and give him a vote.  We owe that to our constituents, it’s our Constitutional responsibility, and we should get it done.

 

“Thank you M. President, I yield the floor.”