President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans said even before there was a nominee that they wouldn't hold any hearings.
Here's what Florida politicians had to say about Garland's nomination:
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat:
The Senate has a constitutional responsibility to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court and I take that responsibility very seriously. Today, the president nominated Judge Merrick Garland to serve on our nation’s highest court and I hope that the Senate is given a chance to fully consider this nominee.
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate:
Today, President Obama put forward a nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court and it's time for Senate Republicans to do their job. The Republican obstructionists who have vowed to stop any nominee from even being considered are doing a disservice to the American people — and are betraying the democratic values laid out in our Constitution. Americans are tired of the gridlock in Washington, and in the U.S. Senate I'll always fight to cut through the dysfunction and get things done for our nation.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman:
I applaud President Obama’s selection of Merrick Garland, an accomplished, independent jurist, as his choice of nominee for the Supreme Court. Mr. Garland has earned the support of Republicans and Democrats alike since 1997, with one senior Republican previously calling Mr. Garland a “consensus nominee” and vowing to help President Obama ensure him a seat on the Supreme Court. As a former Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, Mr.Garland was a leader in prosecuting domestic terrorism. The grandson of immigrants who fled persecution, and an even handed jurist, he embodies the values that have made America great.
I urge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley to fulfill their constitutional duties, hold hearings, and quickly bring this nominee up for a vote – the exact same things they called for in 2008 when President Bush nominated judges that were then confirmed by a Democratic Senate.
Both Republican leaders have said they don’t intend to do their jobs, and plan to block the nominating process, a blatantly partisan position to take. While it’s clear that this unprecedented obstructionism is just more pandering to party extremists, it’s an especially baffling strategy when poll after poll tells the same story: the majority of Americans disapprove of the GOP’s tactics by an overwhelming margin.
The American people are right to disagree with this approach. By design, our founders created the Supreme Court to function above the sort of divisive rhetoric and partisan political nonsense that too often define Washington. Waiting for Donald Trump to make the next pick for the Supreme Court is an outrageous position to take and flies in the face of the Senate's constitutional duty to ‘advise and consent’. They need to do their job.
Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate:
I strongly oppose President Obama's decision to blatantly ignore precedent and the will of the American people by putting up a Supreme Court nominee during an election year. This President has proven we cannot trust him to uphold the Constitution, and we cannot trust that a nominee he puts forward will rule in accordance with the Constitution. I encourage Sen. McConnell to continue to stay fast in his usage of the checks and balances of the United States Senate. As Florida's next United States Senator I will always ensure justice nominees uphold our Constitution in the regard to what our Founding Fathers envisioned.
Carlos Beruff, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate:
President Obama has done enough damage to this country and the Constitution, we must not let him do anymore. The Senate cannot allow him to fill the seat of a conservative judicial giant like Antonin Scalia with a liberal Obama puppet. The President's nominee is especially dangerous because his record shows he wants to take away our Second Amendment rights.
Republicans in the United States Senate must stand strong against President Obama’s liberal SupremeCourt nominee. The American people elected a Republican Senate in direct response to the extreme agenda of this administration, and that Senate has a responsibility to do whatever it can to stop Obama from further damaging our country.
Todd Wilcox, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate:
Let's be clear about what is at stake here: President Obama has spent seven years trampling on our Constitution - going after gun rights, states' rights, religious freedom and the privacy rights of each and every American. Today's nomination sideshow is Obama's swan song attempt to destroy the basic rights on which this country was founded once and for all. Senators must fight this until the American people have an opportunity to put in place conservatives who, like Justice Scalia, understand the basic principles of liberty and freedom as enshrined in our Constitution by our Founders from this nation's very beginning.