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NE, IA politicians on Supreme Court nomination

Posted: 1:10 PM, Mar 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-16 22:29:27Z

Statements from Nebraska and Iowa congressional delegation on President Barack Obama's plan to nominate Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

Nebraska

Deb Fischer

“It is crucial for Nebraskans and all Americans to have a voice in the selection of the next person to serve a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court, and there is precedent to do so. Therefore, I believe this position should not be filled until the election of a new president.”

Ben Sasse

KMTV has reached out for a statement. Check back for an update.

Adrian Smith

“The President has the constitutional right to nominate an individual to the Supreme Court, but the Senate has an equal right bestowed by the Constitution to determine when or if to confirm a nominee.  I believe a new justice should not be confirmed until Americans have made their voices heard in the presidential election.”

Jeff Fortenberry

KMTV has reached out for a statement. Check back for an update.

Brad Ashford

KMTV has reached out for a statement. Check back for an update.

Iowa

Joni Ernst

“In the midst of a critical election, the American people deserve to have a say in this important decision that will impact the course of our country for years to come.

“This is not about any particular nominee; rather this is about giving the American people a voice. Folks are frustrated with Washington, and are fed up with President Obama’s failed policies and endless power grabs. We saw this frustration embodied in 2014 when voters made their voices heard and elected a Republican majority in the Senate.

“My Democratic colleagues have noted in previous years that nowhere in the Constitution does it state that the Senate must vote on the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court. I support Senator Grassley’s decision to exercise the Senate’s constitutional authority to withhold consent to a Supreme Court nomination until the next president is sworn in.

“We must wait to see what the people say this November, and then our next president will put forward a nominee.”

Chuck Grassley

“When they structured our nation, the founders placed trust in three separate but equal branches of government.  Co-equal authorities are throughout the Constitution, including Article II, Section 2, where the power to nominate an individual to the Supreme Court is granted to the President and authority is given to the Senate to provide advice and consent.  Nowhere in the Constitution does it describe how the Senate should either provide its consent or withhold its consent.

“Today the President has exercised his constitutional authority.  A majority of the Senate has decided to fulfill its constitutional role of advice and consent by withholding support for the nomination during a presidential election year, with millions of votes having been cast in highly charged contests.  As Vice President Biden previously said, it’s a political cauldron to avoid.  Judge Bork learned even after being unanimously confirmed for a circuit court judgeship, the confirmation process for the Supreme Court is unlike any other.

“It’s also important to remember the type of nominee President Obama said he’s seeking.  He says his nominee will arrive at ‘just decisions and fair outcomes’ based on the application of ‘life experience’ to the ‘rapidly changing times.’  The so-called empathy standard is not an appropriate basis for selecting a Supreme Court nominee.

“A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics.  The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice.  Do we want a court that interprets the law, or do we want a court that acts as an unelected super legislature?  This year is a tremendous opportunity for our country to have a sincere and honest debate about the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system of government.”

Steve King

KMTV has reached out for a statement. Check back for an update.

Dave Loebsack

"When a Supreme Court vacancy occurs, the President has a constitutional duty to appoint a justice to fill the vacancy. The Constitution also requires the Senate to "advise and consent" on the President's nomination.  Unfortunately, Senate Republicans have already promised not to even hold a hearing on the President's nominee, someone who is eminently qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. This refusal to fulfill their constitutional responsibility is clearly unacceptable to the American people. It is time to end the political games, hold hearings to evaluate the nominee, and hold an up or down vote on the President's nominee.”

Rod Blum

KMTV has reached out for a statement. Check back for an update.