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

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

Across the state, people in Virginia 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, Virginians are supporting Senators Warner and Kaine as they call to keep partisanship out of the Supreme Court—and to give Judge Garland a fair hearing and a timely vote.

Daily Progress: Senators should do their jobs on Scalia replacement (Editorial). “There's no question that Republicans don't want a conservative icon like Justice Scalia replaced with an Obama appointee who will tip the scales in favor of the court's liberal bloc. And a Supreme Court nomination fight will be even testier with the White House up for grabs. But senators have a duty to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities, and failing to do so will be detrimental to all three branches of government. The nonpartisan SCOTUSBlog noted that there has never been an instance in the past 100 years of a president or Senate failing to fill a Supreme Court vacancy because of an upcoming election.”

Virginian-Pilot: Merrick Garland deserves a fair hearing (Editorial). “Many, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have already refused, saying that the proximity to the presidential election means the Senate should wait for a new president before proceeding with confirmation hearings. The American people should have a chance to weigh in, McConnell and others claim.  That’s high-minded hogwash. The American people twice elected Obama knowing full well that he would make nominations to the Supreme Court. GOP senators seek to deny him that opportunity because of who Obama’s nominee would replace and because they believe they may find a more favorable candidate from the president’s successor.  That’s not how the judiciary works. Putting the Supreme Court to an electoral test — as the Senate GOP leadership now promises — is to submit the last bulwark against the majority’s tyranny to a popularity contest.  This is a partisan maneuver. Nothing more.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Senate Republicans, do your job (Editorial). “The Constitution does not oblige the Senate to approve anyone the president nominates. The Republican majority could reject Garland and hold out for someone more conservative — though we would not advise such a course. But refusing even to hold hearings on the nomination constitutes the sort of knee-jerk, dog-in-the-manger opposition that has left much of the American public justifiably disgusted.”

The News and Advance: Senate Must Act on the Scalia Seat (Editorial). “Filling the Scalia seat could not have come at a more inconvenient time, either for the White House or the Senate. The Constitution is clear in reference to the filling of a vacant seat on The Supreme Court as noted in Article II, Section 2. The president ‘shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... judges of the Supreme Court.’ There is no precedent for keeping a Supreme Court seat vacant for almost a year; with Scalia’s death coming midterm, two terms of the court would be in limbo as most major cases likely would result in a tied vote. We sincerely wish this process would advance as the Founding Fathers envisioned it would: The president nominates a justice he believes would be a fair jurist who adheres to the Constitution, and the Senate then takes up its duties, examining the candidate’s fitness for office and ultimately rendering a ‘yes or no’ decision. All of it based solely on what’s in the best interest of America.”

Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal: Unseemly (Editorial). “President Obama has every right to nominate a successor to Justice Scalia. It’s ridiculous to speak of delay. A 4-4 deadlocked court would let present decisions stand. Other important cases could be left in limbo.”

Kyle Brooks, CEO of Brooks Food Safety: “In business, disagreements have to be solved and votes are cast, just like in government and our judicial process. However, there is always a way to break a tie. In business, it is an executive; in the Senate, the vice president. As it sits now, the Supreme Court does not have a chance to break a tie. That leads to either a stalemate or a justice being coerced into changing their interpretation of the law. Gridlock and coercion are not American values, and do not belong on the Supreme Court, which is why a hearing and a vote must be held on the president's nominee.”

Elva Smith, President of Applied Global Research Corporation: “A vacancy on the Supreme Court could promote a slowdown of the political or regulatory process, thus affecting the effective and efficient operation of businesses. A vacancy on the Supreme Court could--among other things--hold up decisions on an issue or issues that are vital to the operation of my business and it could slow down the entire economy the longer the vacancy continues. It is an issue that requires prompt and serious consideration by a responsible leadership.”

Dr. Samia Harris, Executive Director of Prince William Educational Institute: “The vacancy of the Supreme Court may not affect my business directly, but I believe will affect Justice as we know it in the United States. How can we claim to be the guide for justice in the world if we cannot have a functioning Supreme Court? President Obama fulfilled his duty and it is time for the Congress to fulfill theirs.”