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

Leaders in Maine are speaking out and telling Senate Republican leaders to do their job.

Across the state, people in Maine continue to speak out against Senate Republicans’ refusal to do their job and give Judge Garland a hearing and vote. From former elected officials, to business leaders, to local newspapers, Maine’s residents have voiced disagreement with the Republican leadership as they inject partisanship into the Supreme Court and refuse to carry out certain parts of their job for partisan gain.

Bangor Daily News: George Mitchell: Clarence Thomas got a vote. Merrick Garland should get one, too (Op-Ed). “During my time serving the people of Maine in the U.S. Senate, I had the privilege and responsibility of participating in the confirmation process for eight associate justice nominees. I voted to confirm six of these nominees, including four nominated by Republican presidents. In each case, the nominee received meetings with senators, a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee and an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.”

Dudley Greeley, Owner of D.F. Greeley Conservation: “Business suffers when regulatory and judicial questions are unsettled, especially in an agitated political environment. My high-end art conservation business deals with largely discretionary treatment options that can be particularly subject to being ‘put on hold’ in uncertain times. Please do not further politicize confirmation of Presidential appointments.”

Mount Desert Islander: The Voice of Region (Editorial). “U.S. Sen. Susan Collins deserves a full measure of credit and respect for her willingness, once again, to break ranks with most of her Republican Senate colleagues and take the high road, rather than the partisan road.  Maine’s Republican senator met last week with Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and President Barack Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Very much at play in this current discussion is the desire of Republicans to restore the 5-4 conservative balance of the court that was upset by the untimely death of Scalia, who was, by most accounts, the court’s staunchest conservative. Collins observes that Garland, who has a strong record after 19 years on the Appeals Court and is widely regarded as something of a centrist, could be a far more appealing nominee to Republicans than anyone who might be chosen by the next president. ‘If the next president is a Democrat, then the balance could be tipped way further than Judge Garland,’ Collins has said. ‘If the nominee is Donald Trump, and he becomes the next president, who knows who his nominee would be. He’s rather unpredictable.’  Collins is again the rare voice of reason in an arena where partisanship rules. Republican Senate leaders would be wise to heed her advice, move forward with the normal Supreme Court nomination process and let the Senate consent or withhold its consent based on the nominee’s fitness for service on the nation’s highest court.”

Portland Press Herald: Bill Nemitz: Susan Collins keeps a level head on Supreme Court issue (Op-Ed). “These are lonely days for Collins and fellow Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois. Both stand in defiance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s order that the president’s yet-to-be-named nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia be shunned by all Senate Republicans from now until the November election. That means no chats with the White House, no courtesy calls on Capitol Hill with any nominee, no hearings, no votes, nothing. Collins’ response: ‘For anyone to say, no matter who is sent up by the president as his nominee, that we will not consider that person, does not strike me as consistent with our constitutional obligations.’”

Portland Press Herald: Our View: Collins’ position on Supreme Court spot a lonely one, but correct (Editorial). “It’s a shameful rewriting of the Constitution and traditions of American governance by partisans hoping that the next election will put their team ahead, regardless of the important public business that can’t be done properly with a short-handed court. But it is perfectly understandable reaction under Miles’ Law. They are Republicans, and they want a Republican to name the next justice, even if that Republican is Donald Trump.”

Bangor Daily News: From Susan Collins, a refreshing reluctance to rush to judgment on the next justice (Editorial). “It’s a mystery to us how the American people would not have a voice if President Obama, the sitting president with 11 months remaining in office, fulfilled his constitutional responsibility and nominated a replacement for Scalia. The voters elected Obama to the White House in 2008 and again in 2012. They elected him to serve two terms of four years each — not to serve only until the next presidential campaign was in full swing. Plus, voters elected each of the 100 senators who would have the opportunity to vet the president’s nominee and vote for or against his or her confirmation.”