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

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

Across Washington State, people 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, voices in Washington State are supporting Senators Murray and Cantwell as they call to keep partisanship out of the Supreme Court—and to give Judge Garland a fair hearing and a timely vote.

Chris D’Couto, President and CEO of Neah Power Systems, Inc.: “Businesses cannot wait for nine months to make a decision, and that should be the same for the Senate. We cannot afford tied outcomes from the Supreme Court which have direct impact on the ability of businesses to plan and operate.”

Jonathan Bensky, President and CEO of Pacific Northwest Advisors, LLC: “Politics aside, unless a new justice is confirmed soon, the court will be left without nine justices for the rest of this term and all of next term, given how long it will take the next president to choose, vet, and nominate a new justice and the senate to confirm the nominee. With ‘'ties’ not definitive, the uncertainty that two Supreme Court terms with ties could generate is clearly bad for business.”

The Spokesman-Review: Judicial tussles can’t find audience (Editorial). “‘In a world where 5-4 votes can change lives forever, one man is nominated to alter the course of history … only to be ignored.’  This flick stars Merrick Garland, the judge President Barack Obama nominated to replace Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. But this tale has many key supporting actors and, sadly, it is a mere sequel to the many confirmation battles that have preceded it.  One subplot involves Idaho Judge David Nye, whose name emerged from a secretive, 19-month process as the nominee to replace U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge. Concerns arose immediately that Nye’s confirmation could get caught in the politics of the Garland fight.  Idaho’s two Republican senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, worked with the White House to find Lodge’s replacement. Crapo tried to quell concerns that the Garland stalemate would hurt Nye’s chances for a speedy confirmation.  Speaking of Nye, he said: ‘The White House is strongly in support of their nomination, and Sen. Risch and I are strongly in support on the president’s nomination. There hasn’t been that consensus developed yet on the Supreme Court’ nomination.  Well, consensus is impossible to achieve when the Senate majority leader declares the Supreme Court process to be shut down before anyone is nominated. That tends to cause hard feelings. Will the Obama administration exact revenge? Hopefully not, because filling that position is far more important than tit-for-tat.  Last July, the feds declared a ‘judicial emergency’ in Idaho because U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Winmill was the lone full-time federal court judge. Judge Lodge had moved to senior status since announcing his retirement, which means a lighter caseload.  Nevertheless, the confirmation process plodded along.  Forty-nine of Obama’s nominees for federal judgeships were awaiting votes as of Thursday, according to McClatchy. Presumably, Nye’s name is at the end of this queue. The process is not built for speed, because Senate rules allow a lone senator to put a secret hold on home-state nominees.  These confirmation battles aren’t new, and both parties have been guilty of holding up the process. But vacancies affect individuals and businesses with genuine concerns that need legal resolutions.”

Seattle Times: Merrick Garland nomination: Obama’s rightful pick, Senate’s wrongful obstinance (Editorial). “President Obama appears to have made a wise choice in nominating Merrick Garland, a respected judge and former prosecutor, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Showing far less wisdom are Republican Senate leaders refusing to consider his nomination. Led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., their bullheaded, petty partisanship further undermines Americans’ respect for Congress and faith in their political system.”

Herald Net: Senate Republicans hiding behind the ‘Biden rule’ (Editorial). “In rejecting consideration of the president's nomination of Merrick Garland, chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia, McConnell elevated Biden's political bluster to the status of a procedural rule, one that holds that the nomination should wait. ‘The American people are perfectly capable of having their say ... on the issue. So let's give them a voice; let's let the people decide,’ said McConnell in invoking the ‘Biden rule.’ Except that the people already have decided. Obama was the choice of 65.9 million Americans in 2012, a majority who made their decision to elect the president to a second full four-year term.”

Yakima Herald: Supreme Court nominee a duty for president and senators (Editorial). “Well, he should. The president has a constitutional duty to put forth a nominee. Given the polarization surrounding the appointment — and seemingly everything else in Washington, D.C., these days — Obama also has an obligation to appoint someone with an honest chance of confirmation. And Republicans, some of whom have backed away from obduracy as the week has gone on, have a duty and obligation to give the nominee a full and fair hearing.”