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

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

Across the state, people from Idaho continue to speak out against Senate Republicans’ refusal to do their job and give Judge Garland a hearing and vote. Voices in Idaho have sounded a disappointed tone in Senators Risch and Crapo’s decision to inject partisanship into the Supreme Court and in their refusal to carry out certain parts of their jobs for partisan gain.

Idaho Mountain Express: Supreme Court nomination is a constitutional act (Editorial). “The language of Article II is clear and specific: ‘[The president] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the supreme Court. … ‘ President Obama says he will nominate someone to fill the now-vacant seat, as is his constitutional right and duty. Republicans in the Senate, however, are asserting that they will accept no nominee that this duly elected president puts forward. The unprecedented advance rejection by Senate leaders of all possible nominations in advance amounts to nullification of the Constitution’s second article. Obama should nominate whomever he wants. The Senate should give that nominee a fair hearing and then bring the nomination forward for a vote. Anything else violates Scalia’s constitutional view.”

Post Register: An example of class and bi-partisanship (Editorial). “Idaho Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch last week enjoyed what Crapo called in a news release, a ‘productive consultation process between the Idaho Senate delegation, the President and his team’ on the nomination of David C. Nye of Pocatello to serve in the U.S. federal court for the District of Idaho.  Crapo said, ‘I am committed to working diligently and enthusiastically to obtain the consent of the Senate for Judge Nye’s confirmation.’  It’s true Nye appears to be an excellent candidate to take over the seat, which has been vacant since July 2015 when Judge Edward Lodge took senior status, leaving just one judge to cover the district.  Still, it’s difficult to overlook the charade of Risch and Crapo working merrily alongside President Barack Obama when both have made statements claiming they won’t support a hearing, meet with or consider a lame-duck action for Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland.  Risch said in a radio interview, ‘Given his record, I wouldn’t vote for that guy under any circumstances,’ and Crapo’s view is that the next elected president should fill Antonin Scalia’s old Supreme Court seat.  If the president and his team were tit-for-tat politicians, Idaho could have remained in what federal courts had deemed ‘a judicial emergency’ through 2016. Instead, by all accounts, Judge Nye’s nomination hit no political snags after Sens. Crapo and Risch made their recommendation.     Reading the Idaho senators’ gleeful statements about their success and cooperation with the president is like watching a toddler stop a tantrum just long enough to calmly accept some candy. The question is, are they willing to soften their opposition to an equally qualified candidate now that they have what they want?”

Idaho Mountain Express: The move to paralyze the president (Editorial). “McConnell reiterated his claim that this is not about a person, but about the principle of the right of the people to have a voice in filling this vacancy. That argument extended to other matters would paralyze the president. It blatantly ignores two real principles of American democracy. First, the people already expressed their voice in choosing a president empowered to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. Obama, elected with a substantial majority in 2012, is the president of the United States until noon, Jan. 20, 2017. To deny his authority to use the powers of his office until then amounts to McConnell and Senate Republicans nullifying the presidency. The word that should be applied to what McConnell is doing is ‘coup.’ The second principle McConnell is ignoring is that the United States is a representative democracy. The voters elect the president and senators and representatives to do the job of executing their offices as they see fit once elected, and not as voters directly tell them to do. McConnell’s roll was not even slowed by an actual nominee. He read his remarks from a long document obviously prepared without consideration of whom Obama might name. The Senate has both the right and duty to approve or reject Garland. We might disagree with that decision, but we would never dispute its right to make it. McConnell’s move violates America’s democratic principles. He should let the Senate proceed.”