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What They're Saying in Rhode Island about the Supreme Court Nomination

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

Across the state of Rhode Island, people continue to speak out against Senate Republicans’ refusal to do their job and give Judge Garland a hearing and vote. From local newspapers to elected officials, Rhode Island voices are supporting Senators Reed and Whitehouse as they call to keep partisanship out of the Supreme Court—and to give Judge Garland a fair hearing and a timely vote.

Providence Journal: Blocking Garland (Editorial). “Under our system of divided powers, grownups in the Senate and the presidency once understood: What goes around, comes around. It's a good idea to retain some degree of comity.  In selecting Mr. Garland, the president commendably nominated a man regarded by people of both parties to be fair, diligent, hard-working, smart and with a spotless record. For example, on Wednesday, Kenneth Starr, once charged with exploring the misdeeds of then-President Bill Clinton, called Mr. Garland ‘superbly qualified’ and ‘a very wise choice.’  Mr. Garland will not approximate the outsized presence of the brilliant and acerbic conservative Antonin Scalia, whose death created this vacancy. Yet Mr. Garland could well be more to the Republicans' liking than a candidate Hillary Clinton might nominate — and better qualified, quite possibly, than one Donald Trump would choose.  Senate Republicans should set aside the politics and give Mr. Garland a hearing.”

Providence Journal: Court games (Editorial). “That same night, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pushed back, calling Mr. McConnell’s declaration outrageous. ‘The president has a responsibility to nominate a new justice and the Senate has a responsibility to vote,’ she added. The former secretary of state is right. President Obama may be on the way out — he has less than a year left on the job — but he still holds the presidency, with all of the rights and duties that entails. One of the enumerated powers of the president under our Constitution is the nomination of Supreme Court justices. Though Mr. McConnell's statement was red meat for his political base, it was inappropriate for him to announce he would block any appointment — even before President Obama nominated a successor to Justice Scalia. His remark also bizarrely overlooked that President Obama was, in fact, elected by the American people, in part to nominate justices to the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse: “The Constitution could not be clearer: the President nominates and the Senate responds with its advice and consent.  Indeed, since 1875, the Senate has never denied a Supreme Court nominee a hearing or a vote.  To do so now would be to abandon the Senate’s responsibility and ignore the will of the American people, who rightly expect us to do our job.  I hope my Republican colleagues show Mr. Garland the respect he deserves and act on his nomination.”