Should the Senate hold hearings on the Nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court?

This blog delves into the issues regarding the March 16, 2016 nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court of the United States.   Wikipedia said the following about the nomination of Judge Garland:

“On March 16, 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia on February 13.[1] Scalia’s death led to an unusual situation in which a Democratic president had the opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court nominee while the Republicans control the United States Senate; before Scalia’s death, such a situation last occurred when a Senate Republican majority confirmed Grover Cleveland‘s nomination of Rufus Wheeler Peckham in 1895.[2] Conversely, in February 1988, during an election year, the Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed Anthony Kennedy, who was the Republican President Ronald Reagan‘s nominee for the Supreme Court, though Kennedy had been nominated in November 1987.[3]

“Political commentators widely recognized Scalia as one of the more conservative members of the Court, and noted that a more liberal replacement could shift the Court’s ideological balance for many years into the future. Consequently, Republican Senate leaders announced that they planned to hold no vote on any potential nominee until a new president was elected. Senate Democrats responded that there was sufficient time to vote on a nominee before the election.[4] Garland’s nomination has remained before the Senate for 160 days, longer than any other Supreme Court nomination.[5]

Throughout my education, my teachers have taught me to revere the noble nature of the United States system of government. After law school, I spent a year clerking for the late Ninth Circuit Judge David R. Thompson, who had been nominated by President Ronald Reagan.  The year working for Judge Thompson further cemented my reverence for the judiciary.

In this context, the U.S. Senate’s refusal to hold hearings on the nomination of Judge Garland perplexes me, and I fear that the decision will further encourage the public’s distrust of the Senate.

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