News Releases

Murray: “Clearly, this is less about Judge Merrick Garland as a nominee and more about political obstruction and partisanship.” 

Murray on Trump's plan for SCOTUS: Taking women back to the dark ages 

Supreme Court has now been one justice short for 88 days – and counting

*VIDEO here*

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke on the Senate floor to call on her Republican colleagues once again to give the President’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, fair consideration for the Supreme Court vacancy. President Obama did his job and nominated a Supreme Court nominee, Judge Garland did his job by meeting with every Senator who would give him an opportunity and by submitting a questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee outlining his background and work history – but Senate Republicans continue to refuse to do their job and consider Judge Garland. This obstruction completely disregards what so many members continue to hear in their home states from constituents who want a fully functioning Supreme Court. Senator Murray also highlighted “appalling” remarks made by the presumed Republican nominee last night, who promised to overturn Roe v. Wade and take away critical health care for vulnerable women across the country.

“Evaluating and confirming Supreme Court Justices is one of the most important roles we have in the United States Senate. I have heard from people across Washington state who want the Senate to do its job,” said Senator Murray. “So if Republicans continue to refuse to do their jobs – they aren’t saying that the people should decide, they are saying they believe the Republican presidential nominee should. And that is just wrongWashington state families should have a voice – right now. Families across America should have a voice – right now.”

Last month, Senator Murray called on Republicans  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:

“Two months ago, the President did his job selecting a nominee. For two months, Judge Garland has been ready and willing to meet with any senator who will make the time. Yesterday, Judge Garland did his job by submitting a questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee outlining his background and work history, which is standard for judicial nominees. And what about the Senate? In complete disregard of what so many members continue to hear in their home states across the country, Republican leaders refuse to act. Senate Republicans 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. We are now at an unbelievable 88 days into this Supreme Court vacancy. And especially after knowing what I do after meeting with Judge Garland – and what many Republicans know after meeting with him as well – his distinguished career and work history show he is without a doubt someone who deserves fair consideration by all of us here in the United States Senate. Judge Garland led a massive investigation of the Oklahoma City Bombing, and supervised the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh.”

“Clearly, this is less about Judge Merrick Garland as a nominee and more about political obstruction and partisanship. Especially after one Republican Senator admitted that if it looks like Donald Trump will lose the November election, we should quickly confirm Judge Garland. This comes after weeks of saying that the Senate should not do its job until we have a new President.”

“So if Republicans continue to refuse to do their jobs – they aren’t saying that the people should decide, they are saying they believe the Republican presidential nominee should. And that is just wrong. Especially after what we heard from the presumptive Republican nominee last night on Fox News.  He said recently that he thinks women should be punished for exercising their constitutionally protected reproductive rights…and last night he went a step further. He promised that he would only appoint “pro-life” Justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Let me repeat that—the candidate that Republicans would like to see in the White House, nominating Supreme Court Justices, has committed to taking our country back to the Dark Ages. That is appalling. It’s something that I know millions of women, and men, across the country are scared of. And it’s just one more reason that people will continue demanding Senate Republicans do their job.”

“Because Washington state families should have a voice – right now. Families across America should have a voice – right now. And the Tea Party gridlock and dysfunction that has dominated too much of our time and work here in Congress should be pushed aside – right now. So - I hope Republicans will reconsider. Meet with Judge Garland. Hold a hearing. And give him a vote. We need nine justices serving on the highest court in the land – the American people deserve a fully-functioning Supreme Court.”

 

Senator Murray’s remarks as prepared: 

“M. President, I come to the Senate floor today to once again urge my Republican colleagues to listen to the vast majority of the people across the country, do their job, and allow us to do ours. Fulfill your constitutional responsibility. Hold a hearing for Judge Merrick Garland. And give him a vote. We owe that to the people we represent—and it’s simply the right thing to do.

“Two months ago, the President did his job selecting a nominee. For two months, Judge Garland has been ready and willing to meet with any senator who will make the time. Yesterday, Judge Garland did his job by submitting a questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee outlining his background and work history, which is standard for judicial nominees. And what about the Senate?

“In complete disregard of what so many members continue to hear in their home states across the country, Republican leaders refuse to act. Senate Republicans 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.

“We are now at an unbelievable 88 days into this Supreme Court vacancy. And especially after knowing what I do after meeting with Judge Garland – and what many Republicans know after meeting with him as well – his distinguished career and work history show he is without a doubt someone who deserves fair consideration by all of us here in the United States Senate. Judge Garland led a massive investigation of the Oklahoma City Bombing, and supervised the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh.

“He called his work for the Justice Department following the Oklahoma City Bombing the most important thing he has ever done in his life. 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. As a prosecutor, he ensured proper respect for the rights of criminal defendants. And he was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1997 with a strong, bipartisan vote of 76-23. And several of those who confirmed him in 1997 still serve in the Senate today.

“Clearly, this is less about Judge Merrick Garland as a nominee and more about political obstruction and partisanship. Especially after one Republican Senator admitted that if it looks like Donald Trump will lose the November election, we should quickly confirm Judge Garland. This comes after weeks of saying that the Senate should not do its job until we have a new President.

“M. President, evaluating and confirming Supreme Court Justices is one of the most important roles we have in the United States Senate. I have heard from people across Washington state who want the Senate to do its job. So if Republicans continue to refuse to do their jobs – they aren’t saying that the people should decide, they are saying they believe the Republican presidential nominee should. And that is just wrong.

“Especially after what we heard from the presumptive Republican nominee last night on Fox News.  He said recently that he thinks women should be punished for exercising their constitutionally protected reproductive rights…and last night he went a step further. He promised that he would only appoint “pro-life” Justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Let me repeat that—the candidate that Republicans would like to see in the White House, nominating Supreme Court Justices, has committed to taking our country back to the Dark Ages. That is appalling. It’s something that I know millions of women, and men, across the country are scared of. And it’s just one more reason that people will continue demanding Senate Republicans do their job.

“Because Washington state families should have a voice – right now. Families across America should have a voice – right now. And the Tea Party gridlock and dysfunction that has dominated too much of our time and work here in Congress should be pushed aside – right now. So M. President - I hope Republicans will reconsider. Meet with Judge Garland. Hold a hearing. And give him a vote. We need nine justices serving on the highest court in the land – the American people deserve a fully-functioning Supreme Court.

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

 

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