Senate Judiciary Committee Receives Questionnaire from Supreme Court Nominee Judge Garland

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C.Today, Senate Judiciary Committee members received a questionnaire detailing Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland’s credentials, education, and legal experience. The questionnaire is a standard document that nominees to federal judicial positions complete in advance of the Committee’s public hearings; Judge Garland filled out a similar questionnaire in 1995, when he was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The questionnaire is one important step in the confirmation process that, under what Senator Susan Collins called “regular order,” would provide the public with the opportunity to learn about Judge Garland’s background and legal experience.  But, given the Senate Republican leadership’s obstruction of Judge Garland’s nomination, the public has thus far been denied this opportunity.
Republican leadership on the Committee has not changed its stance against holding a hearing and a vote on Judge Garland’s nomination, despite the obvious impact on the Court’s decision making process, the overwhelming public support for hearings and a vote, the impressive scope of the bipartisan support for Judge Garland’s nomination,   and the weight of Senate tradition and the unambiguous language of the U.S. Constitution. But since the Senate Judiciary Committee has been dragging its feet on processing lower court nominees as well, it has plenty of time on its hands.  Why not try something novel, and yet beautifully in line with the will of the American people Senate Republicans purport to represent:  #DoYourJob.