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

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

Across the state, Tennesseans continue to speak out against Senate Republicans’ refusal to do their job and give Judge Garland a hearing and vote. Voices in Tennessee have sounded a disappointed tone in Senators Alexander and Corker’s decision to inject partisanship into the Supreme Court and in their refusal to carry out certain parts of their jobs for partisan gain.

Times Free Press: Pam Sohn: Jesus and the Supreme Court vacancy (Op-Ed). “McConnell and other Republicans said the president should ‘let the people decide’ with the November election. Of course, the people already decided. Twice. They voted President Obama into office to lead this country until Jan. 20, 2017. And, by the way, since 1900, the Senate has voted on eight Supreme Court nominees during an election year. Six were confirmed.”

The Tennessean: Senate right to confirm Crenshaw; move on to Garland (Editorial). “Crenshaw’s confirmation is significant not only because he is the second African-American federal judge in Tennessee and because it reduces the case workload, but because naming a judge means fairness will start to be restored to the underfunded, understaffed justice system.   Most important, fairness will return for people who deserve their day in court.  This should be top of mind with Obama’s nomination of D.C. Appeals Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to replace the late Antonin Scalia.  Scalia died in February, and naming his successor has become a proverbial game of chicken between Obama and Senate Republicans.  Even though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lay down the gauntlet and made clear that no Obama nomination would be considered — no questions asked — Obama nominated Garland.  One could question the wisdom of the president’s Supreme Court nomination during an election year, but that would be politically expedient — and wrong — to avoid trying to fill the vacancy simply because it is hard.  The president has a constitutional duty to nominate justices, and the Senate has a constitutional duty to provide ‘advice and consent’ (Article II, Section 2, U.S. Constitution).  A majority of senators may decide that Garland is not the right person for the post, but he should be given a fair hearing.”

Knoxville News Sentinel: Senators shirk responsibility on justice vote (Editorial). “The position taken by U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker opposing a confirmation vote on any nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is disappointing … Waiting to consider a nominee to the nation's highest court until after the inauguration of the new president on Jan. 20, 2017, would be a great disservice to the court, the people and the Constitution.”