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Warren, Markey: Senate must act on Supreme Court nominee

March 16, 2016

BOSTON (AP) — Members of Massachusetts’ all-Democratic congressional delegation are praising President Barack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and calling on Senate Republicans to schedule a hearing and allow a vote.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday that Garland has served his country with distinction and that she looks forward to meeting with him, reviewing his record, and coming to a decision on his nomination.

She said it’s time for the Senate to move ahead with the confirmation process.

“President Obama has done his job — selecting a nominee and sending that nominee to the Senate — and it’s time for the Senate to do its job,” Warren said in a written statement.

With the presidential election in November, Senate Republican leaders have said it should be left up to the next president to fill the vacancy left by the death of former Justice Antonin Scalia.

But Sen. Edward Markey said the Senate must fulfill its constitutional obligation to provide ‘Advice and Consent’ on the nomination.

“There is no magic asterisk in the Constitution, no fine print, that says ‘not in an election year’ or ‘not during the last year of an opposition President’s term in office,’” Markey said in a statement.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker also said the Senate has a responsibility to act.

“The president has a duty to make a nomination, and the Senate has a duty to act on that, and I would hope they would,” Baker told reporters, noting that he shares a birthday, Nov. 13, with Garland.

U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy also called for Senate action and praised Garland, saying the Harvard Law School graduate “has demonstrated an unparalleled ability to interpret our laws.”

Obama announced his nomination Wednesday.

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