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What They're Saying in Georgia about the Supreme Court Nomination

Leaders in Georgia are speaking out and telling Senate Republicans to do their job.

Across the state, Georgians 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, Georgians have sounded a disappointed tone in Senators Isakson and Perdue’s decision to inject partisanship into the Supreme Court and in their refusal to carry out certain parts of their jobs for partisan gain.

WXIA News Atlanta: Rhonda Abrams: Small business needs Senate to act (Op-Ed). “For the Senate to hold up Garland's Supreme Court nomination, decisions won't be made, maybe for a year. Refusing to even consider nominees that both sides recognize as highly qualified not only further politicizes the judiciary, it keeps qualified individuals from wanting to serve as judges. The current effort to block Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court dramatically undercuts respect for the court in particular, and for the judicial system in general. That’s bad for business, even small business.”

V. Weeks, Principal of Weeks Consulting: “A prolonged vacancy on the Supreme Court destabilizes our entire system of checks and balances and calls into question the validity of our legal system. Businesses need clear and unambiguous laws in order to effectively function and paralyzing the Supreme Court with partisan gamesmanship does nothing to further that cause.”

Savannah Morning News: People Want Senate To Act On Supreme Court Vacancy (Editorial). “And yet, consider the issues on the high court’s agenda right now and you’ll find some that touch nerves and lots of lives. Should 4 million undocumented immigrants be allowed to apply for temporary legal status to work here? And did Obama have the constitutional authority to say so and block their deportation? How far can a state go in restricting abortion before creating an unconstitutional ‘undue burden’ on women seeking it, the threshold the high court set in an earlier ruling? How constitutionally to draw the line between a religious institution’s freedom to follow its faith and an employee’s right to contraception under the Affordable Care Act?  The justices could decide to send the cases back for re-argument next fall. But if they instead issue 4-4 rulings, those decisions simply wouldn’t count, leaving in force whatever decision the court of appeals reached, albeit with limited reach.  Since Antonin Scalia died in February, the Supreme Court ruled 4-4 in a widely watched case about teachers’ unions. Without Scalia to tip the balance, the stalemate meant that the lower court’s decision favoring the union stands, with limited reach. In the contraception case, appeals courts in different circuits have reached different conclusions, so if the high court splits evenly, the rules for religious groups seeking insurance exemptions would differ from one part of the country to another.  But here’s the biggest reason why people should care about the Senate leader’s refusal to act on the nomination.  Americans are sick of the partisan fighting in Washington, no matter who they blame for it. Lots of voters just don’t care anymore who started what. They are tired of elected representatives who care more for scoring points against the opposition than governing responsibly.  With this nomination, the Republican Senate has a chance to step above the fray. It could bring Merrick Garland up for confirmation hearings and then an up or down vote.”

Ledger-Enquirer: Obama calls, raises GOP bet (Editorial). “But a flat refusal even to consider any nominee — sight unseen, name unheard, credentials unknown — was a ratcheting up of partisan pettiness. The election-year rationalization that Americans ‘should have a say’ is ethically feeble and transparently selective.”

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Jay Bookman: A thuggish threat in battle over Supreme Court (Op-Ed). “If you doubt that, look at the record: Before rejecting Bork, the Senate had voted unanimously — 98-0 — to confirm a Reagan nominee by the name of Antonin Scalia, probably the most conservative jurist in the modern era. The Senate also voted unanimously — 97-0 — to confirm the Reagan nominee following Bork, now-Justice Anthony Kennedy. Back then, the Senate didn’t refuse to do its constitutional duty to advise and consent; it didn’t issue a blanket rejection of all Reagan nominees, regardless of qualification. It certainly didn’t try to intimidate potential nominees to our nation’s highest court by threatening them with character assassination, sight unseen.”