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

Summary: 
Leaders in Maryland are speaking out and telling Senate Republicans to do their job.

Across the state, Marylanders 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, voices in Maryland are supporting Senators Mikulski and Cardin as they call to keep partisanship out of the Supreme Court—and to give Judge Garland a fair hearing and a timely vote.

Alan Maddox, Managing Partner at Pacific AgTrade: “The question that my overseas counterparts ask is ‘why would our legislative branch intentionally destabilize our country's judicial branch?’ The Republicans’ contention that the nomination should be put forth by a president elected by the people, when there is already a president in office that was elected by the people, raises concerns about whether our country will continue as the standard bearer for transparency and rule of law.”

Jay Steinmetz, CEO of Barcoding, Inc. : “More than anything, an impasse on confirmation validates to investors foreign and domestic that the infection of polarizing ideologies is rotting the foundation of our democracy.”

Mark Rice, President of Maritime Applied Physics Corporation: “Business abhors uncertainty and indecision. Congress should vote on the nomination of Judge Garland.”

Joe Reddix, President and CEO of The Reddix Group, LLC: “Decisions by our nation’s highest court effect the cost of doing business significantly at small and medium-sized companies and hurts communities in dire need of economic growth where small and medium-sized businesses play a key role. Holding up an excellent nominee such as D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court sends a bitter message to aspiring entrepreneurs who see the potential of split-decisions that the court may face as additional risk in doing strategy and business development both domestically and globally. Cleary, the existing business environment does not need additional uncertainty in planning, scheduling and implementation of their respective business plans brought on by a less that full strength Supreme Court.”

Wendy Rosen, Founder of American Made Show: “I get up in the morning feeling like I'm making a contribution to my country, my employees and the economy. It makes me both angry and sad that members of Congress don't understand that obstruction is not a contribution. It only angers Americans more.”

Baltimore Sun: Grassley v. Roberts (Editorial). “Yes, there are justices whose understanding of the law seems set in stone, such as Clarence Thomas. But that doesn't make them less political, as many legal experts view it as evidence of exactly the opposite — justices who are rigid and narrow-minded because they view the world through political blinders. The reason justices are given a lifetime appointment to the bench is not to follow the guidance of a Charles Grassley but to make choices unfettered by politics.  Shame on Senator Grassley for suggesting that Justice Roberts has somehow betrayed the institution when it is the judiciary chairman who seems to be bent on rewriting the Constitution — not only to limit President Barack Obama's authority to fill a court vacancy but now to imply that the chief justice has somehow sabotaged the court. Apparently, Mr. Roberts' decisions that are anathema to liberals such as Citizens United or the weakening of the Voting Rights Act are simply correct interpretations of the Founding Fathers' intent. Iowa voters, take note: Your six-term senator deserves to be put out to pasture, if only for sheer soft-headedness.”

Baltimore Sun: The Man in the Middle (Editorial). “President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland, the widely-respected, centrist chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, may be regarded as an apolitical choice — if only because the former federal prosecutor is hardly the dream pick of his party's progressive wing. But in reality, the political implications are substantial: Should Republicans fulfill their threat to not even hold hearings on the nominee, they demonstrate the party's true Achilles heel, an inability to compromise or put the nation's interests ahead of their own.  In many ways, it is a parallel to the presidential nomination process where Donald Trump leads a narrowing field of what, in more reasonable times, might be regarded as social misfits. The disdain of Mr. Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz for caution, for reason, for political negotiation or even tolerance of contrary opinion is well-documented. After so much congressional dysfunction, the right has fashioned a narrative that the real cause of political gridlock in Washington is an unwillingness of the Republican ‘establishment’ to embrace extremism — as if bluster and willfulness ever softened opposition.  What are the consequences of ignoring Judge Garland from now until the next president is sworn into office 10 months from now? For starters, it could hand control of the Senate over to the Democrats. Make no mistake, no previous Supreme Court nominee has been threatened with such ill-considered treatment, not with 311 days left in a president's term. Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in 1988 just 84 days after he was nominated during the last year of Ronald Reagan's second term. Polls show a majority of Americans want the Senate to act on Mr. Obama's nominee even before knowing who that would be. The adverse implications for the handful of Republican senators running in Democratic-leaning states are likely to be substantial.”

Baltimore Sun: GOP’s no-hire court (Editorial). “But, of course, the people did have a voice, and there was an election — the one in which they re-elected Mr. Obama in 2012, and he has roughly one-quarter of his term left. The notion that the Mr. Scalia's chair should be vacant for one full year — and likely considerably more than that given the next president's nominee would still have to submit to a lengthy review process in 2017 — is outrageous. It represents the kind of obstructionism and gridlock that voters hate and that Congressional Republicans seem to revel in.”