Hillary Clinton scolded members of the U.S. Senate for holding up the nomination of Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s pick to fill the Supreme Court seat held by the late Antonin Scalia.
The Democratic presidential nominee said the Senate has not fulfilled its constitutional duty of “advise and consent” on nominations to the high court by refusing to hold hearings or votes on Garland, whom Obama nominated in March.
“I would hope the Senate would do its job and confirm the nominee that President Obama has sent to them,” Clinton said. “That’s the way the Constitution fundamentally should operate: the president nominates and then the Senate advises and consents or not, but they go forward with the process.”
In the months since Scalia’s death, the court has deadlocked on major issues, most prominently on Obama’s immigration plan.
The Senate has not held any hearings or votes on Garland, although some vulnerable GOP senators have met with the nominee.
Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, Georgia’s two U.S. senators, have both stood behind their party’s leadership and refused to meet with Garland. The two Republicans argue the next president should fill the vacancy on the Court.
Trump did comment on Garland directly but did criticize Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who called the Republican a “faker” earlier this year.
“These are statements that should never be made,” said Trump of Ginsburg. He promised to nominate judges who would uphold the Second Amendment and follow the Constitution the way the Founding Fathers intended.
Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees released earlier this year included a conservative from Georgia’s high court, Justice Keith Blackwell.
Clinton, meanwhile, said that she would focus on nominating candidates who would uphold women’s and LGBT rights should she win in November, as well as overturn Citizens United.
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