Across the state, Alabamans continue to speak out against Senate Republicans’ refusal to do their job and give Judge Garland a hearing and vote. From business leaders to local newspapers, Alabama voices have sounded a disappointed tone in Senators Sessions and Shelby’s decision to inject partisanship into the Supreme Court and in their refusal to carry out certain parts of their jobs for partisan gain.
Decatur Daily: GOP should quit stalling on High Court candidate's hearings (Editorial). “President Barack Obama has nominated a respected federal judge to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, which is what the Constitution requires of him. With the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the court has eight members. It should have nine. With eight members on the court, the potential for tie votes means some important cases could remain unresolved for more than a year and inconsistent lower court decisions will create confusion. Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a member of the federal appellate court in Washington, D.C. By all accounts, Garland is highly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. He is considered by all parties politically moderate, and has worked as a prosecutor. Senate Republicans, however, have vowed to ignore the nomination and not allow a confirmation hearing to take place. They argue that the next president should make the nomination, and not Obama, who leaves office in January. The Republicans are banking on the next president being a Republican, which they believe will preserve the slightly conservative balance on the court. That is a cynical approach to their constitutional duty… The path forward for the Senate, and for the country, is to schedule hearings and weigh the merits of Merrick Garland to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. That’s what the Constitution requires.”
Anniston Star: Credentials of a worthy nominee (Editorial). “Following Scalia’s death, Senate Republicans vowed to not consider a replacement until President Obama was out of office. No private meetings with a nominee. No public hearings to sound out a nominee. And absolutely no chance of a Senate vote on the nominee. Alabama’s Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions are solidly in the camp of senators who are on strike over a replacement for Scalia. What they and others couldn’t win at the polling place — the 2008 election and 2012 re-election of Obama — they are trying to short-circuit by failing to follow the Constitution’s guidance on staffing the Supreme Court. We’d be surprised if Sessions or Shelby voted to confirm anyone Obama nominates, but Alabamians should be concerned that their senators won’t even make an effort to consider the man nominated to replace Scalia.”
Anniston Star: The duty of Senate Republicans (Editorial). “President Barack Obama is going about his constitutional duty in considering a nominee to return the court to its nine-member full strength. Senate Republicans declare they will not confirm any nominee put forth by the president. More than that, they won’t allow hearings on a nominee or even one-on-one meetings with a prospective justice.”
Times Daily: Make the appointment (Editorial). “President Barack Obama is expected to name a nominee soon to fill the vacancy on the court caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. That’s the normal procedure. But Senate Republicans are having none of it. They argue that, because the president has less than a year left in his term, the appointment should be made by the next president, whom, no doubt, they hope will be a Republican. To imagine this is anything other than bold political posturing is foolish. Republicans have fought almost every initiative the Democratic president has presented to Congress, all in the name of philosophical differences.”
Anniston Star: Sen. Sessions goes on strike (Editorial). “Sessions and his fellow committee members are refusing to do their jobs. It’s just that plain. Their job is to examine presidential nominees to the federal courts, including to the Supreme Court. The authors of the Constitution expected senators to examine nominees closely, looking at their records, their wisdom, their judgment and their intelligence. Senators are expected to hold public hearings with nominees. This gives senators an opportunity to raise concerns and for nominee to address them in a public setting. Then senators are expected to give nominees an up-or-down vote. Senators aren’t required to rubber-stamp appointees, but they should closely examine each one and vote either yes or no.”
Decatur Daily: GOP misguided on Scalia replacement (Editorial). “By opposing any Obama nominee before they even know who it is, the GOP is providing Americans with the clearest possible message that the closest the party comes to a unifying theme on governing the nation is to oppose a lame-duck president. This may thrill the GOP base in the short term, but it also could result in a Supreme Court that remains dominated by liberals for several presidential cycles to come.”
Regina Colston, CEO of Colston Consultants: “If our institutions are unable to function, business cannot do business.”