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

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

Across the state, Missourians 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, Missouri voices have sounded a disappointed tone in Senator Blunt’s decision to inject partisanship into the Supreme Court and in his refusal to carry out certain parts of his job for partisan gain. They have asked Senator Blunt to follow Senator McCaskill’s lead, and support hearings and a vote for Judge Garland.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Sen. Blunt Should Give Supreme Court Nominee A Fair Hearing (Editorial). “Obstructionist GOP senators are vowing to block President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick B. Garland to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Voters should watch closely whether Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt treats this nomination with the respect and seriousness it deserves or gives priority to partisan maneuvering.  The president and Senate are constitutionally required to address the Supreme Court vacancy and return the court to full strength. Imposing artificial delays for partisan purposes is the mark of a weak leader. Is this how Blunt proposes to win another six-year term?  By the GOP’s own standards, Garland is eminently qualified and deserves a fair hearing. The call by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his colleagues to blindly refuse a hearing until after the November presidential election is appallingly irresponsible.”

Kansas City Star: Obama’s Solid Supreme Court Choice Exposes GOP Senators As Obstructionist Puppets (Editorial). “Obama’s solid Supreme Court choice exposes GOP senators as obstructionist puppets… President Barack Obama has acted in the spirit of compromise with his choice of Merrick B. Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court.  Senate Republicans will expose themselves as naked obstructionists if they refuse to follow suit and hold hearings.  Garland is a universally respected centrist judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. By selecting him to fill the vacancy created last month by the death of Antonin Scalia, Obama waived the opportunity to nominate a judge who would extend the president’s legacy of liberalism well into the future.  Garland is not only inclined to sometimes veer conservative, especially in law-and-order cases, at age 63 he is older than most Supreme Court nominees. In his case a lifetime appointment would be shorter than that of many of the justices… Only a Senate majority consumed with self-interest and disdain for the democratic process would prefer that limbo to timely hearings for a highly qualified nominee. Blunt and other GOP senators in competitive races will have trouble justifying their obstruction to a public that wants to see fair play in Washington. Senators who would rig the confirmation process to try to allow Trump, the likely Republican presidential nominee, the chance to choose the next Supreme Court justice are out of sync with the nation’s best interests.”

News Tribune: Constitutional obligations and sworn oaths (Editorial). “But the president and U.S. senators, in their oaths of office, swear to uphold the Constitution. Article II reads: ‘He (the president) shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent the Senate, shall appoint … judges of the the Supreme Court.’ In this case, the president likely will nominate someone who reflects his philosophy and the Senate will scrutinize the nominee’s history and judicial leanings. That’s fine. It’s how the process works. What is not acceptable is ignoring constitutional responsibilities. The obligations and oaths are clear, and no particular set of circumstances supports dereliction of sworn duties.”

Louise Noeth, Principal at LandSpeed Productions: “How am I supposed to make financial, employment, and contractual decisions with confidence when the business fabric of the nation is so easily rewoven on political whimsy? Who arbitrarily decided that the Supreme Court is part of some political toolbox? Elected officials are charged with the primary duty of keeping this nation running at operational efficiency, not posturing for a better outcome by exploiting the very process that got them their job.”