This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

What They're Saying in North Carolina about the Supreme Court Nomination

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

Across the state, North Carolinians continue to speak out against Senate Republicans’ refusal to do their job and give Judge Garland a hearing and vote. From elected officials, to business leaders, to local newspapers, North Carolina voices have sounded a disappointed tone in Senators Burr and Tillis’ decision to inject partisanship into the Supreme Court and in their refusal to carry out certain parts of their jobs for partisan gain.

North Carolina Black Legislative Caucus: “We expect our senators to proceed with a fair hearing for Judge Garland because that is what the Constitution dictates, and what our constituents and all Americans deserve from their leaders. To those senators who are putting politics above their Constitutional duties, we urge that you #DoYourJob. As President Obama stated during his press conference, ‘presidents don't stop working in the final year of their term; neither should a senator.’”

Charlotte Observer: High court pick deserves a fair hearing (Editorial). “Judge Merrick Garland faces strong GOP opposition in his quest for a Supreme Court seat.  Now that Obama has indeed named Garland, the GOP’s self-constructed political box squeezes a bit tighter. Most Republicans are sticking to their no-hearings stonewall. Hatch, however, says he’d be open to considering Garland during the lame-duck congressional session, should Hillary Clinton win the White House in November.  That’s rich. So, the Senate would block Obama’s nomination because he’s a lame duck. But a lame-duck Senate would willingly take up the nomination if threatened with prospects of a younger, more liberal nominee from a President-Elect Clinton or perhaps even some unpredictable wildcard from a President-Elect Trump… We hope the voters GOP leaders are so eager to hear from this fall will tell them that this country is sick of the zero-sum games, and doesn’t appreciate having qualified public servants like Garland dragged through the political mud.”

News & Observer: Obama Offers A Worthy Nominee, Now Senate Must Do Its Job (Editorial). “As a federal judge, Garland has already been confirmed once by the Senate. Republican senators now are in a quandary. If they turn down this obviously qualified judge without so much as a hearing, they’ll be judged as ideologues defying a president who is following the Constitution. If they do give Garland a hearing, his intellect and qualifications will quickly become obvious, and it will be all the more difficult for them to vote down his nomination.  Republicans need to serve their country and do their own duty. If the Supreme Court remains at a 4-4 philosophical split, it will be rendered ineffective. The high court needs to be at full strength.”

News & Observer: Burr, Tillis Snub Nominee And Law (Editorial). “Now it is simply embarrassing. Are North Carolina’s Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis so fearful — and so rude — that they are afraid to be in the same room with Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland? No, they’re just going along with the GOP leadership in saying they don’t want Garland to have a hearing and a vote on his nomination.  It’s not unanimous among Republicans. Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk met with Garland, and several other Republicans say they’ll do the same. Garland is one of the most respected judges in the country, and as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia already has passed muster with the Senate, with the support of Republicans. Garland has more experience than any previous nominee for the high court.  And Garland’s record indicates thoughtful moderation, not liberal or conservative idealism.  But the Senate’s Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky pronounced following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia that no nominee of President Obama would be confirmed. Other senators should have risen in defense of the constitutional process and of the president’s right to nominate someone and the Senate’s duty to give the person a hearing. But no, Burr, who’s up for re-election, and Tillis are meekly going along with it.”

North Carolina Times News: Supreme Court Stalemate Needs To Be Broken (Editorial). “Obama is in good company in sounding such an alarm. Last month, in remarks delivered before Scalia’s death, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. lamented the politicization of the confirmation process. Noting that Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg were confirmed by virtually unanimous votes in 1986 and 1993, respectively, Roberts said that in recent years the process had become much more partisan, with Democratic senators opposing Republican nominees and vice versa. ‘That suggests to me,’ Roberts said, ‘that the process is being used for something other than ensuring the qualifications of the nominees.’ Of course, some would argue that the Senate should be guided not only by professional qualifications but by concerns about whether a nominee would move the court to the right or to the left. (That, not a desire to give voters a say in Scalia’s replacement, is the real reason for the Republicans’ resistance to Garland.) But the court and the country are ill served by this approach. It’s better for the Senate generally to focus on qualifications and accept that every president, by virtue of his election, has the right to try to shape the court. Presidents, meanwhile, should realize that if they put forward nominees who are too far outside the mainstream, the Senate will put up a fight. Based on his comments last month, it would seem that the chief justice agrees. He would be doing his court and the Constitution a favor by explicitly calling on the Senate to do its job and give Garland a fair hearing.”

Greensboro News & Record: No, no, no, maybe (Editorial). “There is no precedent for the Republican position and no logic behind it. The next president will fill court vacancies that occur during his or her term; the current president doesn’t pass that responsibility to his successor. The Senate should work the same way and do its job now. Yet, Republicans say the next Senate should carry out the constitutional duty of advise and consent — unless they decide to act as lame ducks after the election. What hypocrisy. And we can add rudeness to the equation. Many Republicans even refuse to grant Garland, one of our country’s most respected judges, the courtesy of a meeting to talk about his qualifications and philosophy. GOP senators may not be happy that Trump could win the presidential nomination, but they apparently want to mimic his manners. Maybe it’s not surprising they won’t sit down with Garland. They sure can’t give him a straight story to explain why he doesn’t even deserve a hearing.”

Rich Deming, Managing Partner of Power Resource Group, LLC: “Business suffers under uncertainty--that's why it's better to do business in the United States instead of an unstable developing country. Playing politics with the Supreme Court creates uncertainty and really smacks of a banana republic where business waits for political theater instead of staying focused on creating growth and jobs. We--the business people of the United States--can create jobs under any regulatory environment, as long as we know the rules. The ongoing gridlock over this and other issues makes the rules unknowable. It's both irritating and embarrassing, and it directly hurts the job- and wealth-creators of this country.”

Ann Lane, President of Carolina Investigative Research: “The obstruction from the House and Senate causes despair for all. We need everyone working together for a common good. If the House and Senate refuse to do their job, they should resign and allow us to have Senators and Representative who know who to get work done, not extremists who do nothing for anyone but greed. Business owners work every day. If we decided not to work until the time was right, our businesses would close.”

Laura Dawson, CEO of Food Physics & Body Dynamics, LLC: “I am deeply concerned that business owners from the United States will be hobbled without sufficient legal power to support our expansion into global markets successfully.”

Travis Everette, Broker in Charge of United Real Estate Raleigh: “A prolonged SCOTUS vacancy affects business at every level because it leaves open the door to uncertainty. One of the primary functions of the Supreme Court is to serve as final arbiter of some of our nation's most debated topics. With the real possibility of a 4-4 split on decisions, that function is drastically compromised.”