126 Days: Record-Setting Inaction to Fill the Supreme Court Vacancy
One woman rode her solar powered bike across the country in 80 days.
A developer in China built a 57-story skyscraper in 19 days.
John Boyne wrote The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in less than 3 days.
In 126 days, you could have travelled halfway to Mars, or have watched all 726 Star Trek episodes and 12 movies– five times.
What the Senate has failed to do in 126 days is give Judge Merrick Garland a hearing. President Obama nominated Judge Garland to the Supreme Court on March 16 to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing.
Historically, Supreme Court nominees have been confirmed, rejected or withdrawn in an average of 25 days. All of the current sitting Justices on the Court received a hearing and a vote within 99 days.
A hundred years ago, in 1916, Justice Louis Brandeis set the record for the longest gap between nomination and resolution of any Supreme Court nomination- 125 days. Ultimately confirmed, Justice Brandeis went on to become one of the most notable Justices in history. Today marks a milestone because not only has Judge Garland surpassed this record, but because inaction will continue for another 48 days until the Senate reconvenes after Labor Day, having commenced their summer recess last week. Upon reconvening in September, the Senate would have five weeks in session before their October adjournment to provide Judge Garland with a hearing and a vote.
Although the 2015-2016 Supreme Court term is over, several notable cases resulted in a 4-4 split. These ties have resulted in a lack of clarity for lower courts and impact the daily lives of countless citizens who suffer from the lack of binding precedent due to a vacancy on our nation’s highest court.
This dangerous trend of inaction on judicial nominations is not restricted to the Judge Garland’s nomination, but also impacts federal district and appellate courts across the country.
Senate, it is time to #DoYourJob and give Judge Garland a hearing and a vote. Regardless of the outcome, Judge Garland’s nomination deserves to be carefully considered by the elected representatives to which the American people have entrusted this responsibility.