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

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

Across the state, Oklahomans continue to speak out against Senate Republicans’ refusal to do their job and give Judge Garland a hearing and vote. From those involved in the Oklahoma City Bombing case to local newspapers, Oklahoma voices have sounded a disappointed tone in Senators Inhofe and Lankford’s decision to inject partisanship into the Supreme Court and in their refusal to carry out certain parts of their jobs for partisan gain.

Letter From Former Prosecutors, Law Enforcement Agents and Victim Advocates Involved in Oklahoma City Bombing Case: “As former prosecutors, law enforcement agents and victim advocates who worked as a team with Merrick Garland, as well as state and local authorities, to secure justice for the thousands of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, we write to offer our enthusiastic support for Chief Judge Garland to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. We are a diverse group: we live in different parts of the country and work in a variety of fields, we have no common political affiliation, and indeed some of us are occasionally adversaries in court. But despite those differences we are united today, as we were united two decades ago, in our respect and admiration for the integrity, brilliance, leadership, and judgment of Merrick Garland. Twenty years ago, the nation could not find a better lawyer to manage the investigation and prosecution of what was then the worst crime ever committed on American soil. Today, our nation could not find a better judge, nor a more honorable man, to join its highest court.”

The Oklahoman: High court nominations: A broken system shows no sign of getting fixed (Editorial). “President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court has placed Senate Republicans in a difficult spot, and Garland's history in this state has increased pressure on Oklahoma's two senators to do more than sit on the sidelines. Yet the chances of Garland being considered before Election Day appear nil.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., laid down his marker immediately after the death last month of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. The Senate, McConnell vowed, would not be considering any nominations from Obama prior to the November election.   Since then, members of both parties have taken turns trading barbs. Democrats accuse Republicans of obstructionism and contend that conservative members who stand so often on the importance of following the Constitution are now trampling on it by not allowing the president to bring his nominee to a vote. Republicans counter that the Constitution doesn't say the Senate must  grant a hearing, and that many Democrats who are now howling about Obama being wronged have endorsed similar tactics when Republicans have occupied the White House.  It's not a pretty sight but it's the norm in Washington. And it's certainly true that the next Supreme Court justice could potentially provide the swing vote in a number of important cases that are dear to both parties. And, that the process of naming new justices has been highly politicized since Robert Bork's knock-down, drag-out nomination fight in 1987. There's no going back now.  The nomination of Garland places renewed focus on Oklahoma Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, chiefly because of the widely praised work Garland did following the Oklahoma City bombing. A top official at the U.S. Justice Department at the time, Garland took the lead in organizing the criminal investigation.”