PFAW Condemns Senate Republicans for ‘Thumbing Noses at Constitution’


People for the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker released a statement today in response to the Senate’s refusal to address the backlog of judicial nominees:

PFAW Statement on Mitch McConnell’s Decision to End Senate Term without Acting on Nominees
“When Mitch McConnell sent senators home for the holidays last night, they left 25 nominees pending on the Senate floor, all of whom passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with broad bipartisan support. They also refused to act on 29 other nominees whose hearings have been delayed by Senator Grassley’s ongoing campaign of obstruction, plus Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy that has existed for nearly ten months.
“These nominees are exhibit A in Senate Republicans’ campaign to stoop to any level to play politics with our courts. In a normal year, each and every one of these nominees would have been confirmed without controversy. Instead, Republicans have decided to thumb their noses at the Constitution in an attempt to steal a Supreme Court seat from President Obama. Their obstinance and their obstruction have done real damage to our federal courts, the confirmation process and to the rule of law. No one should forget how disrespectfully Senator McConnell and his caucus have treated President Obama and his nominees; and no one should expect Democrats to acquiesce when President Trump attempts to fill vacancies that only exist because of Republican misconduct.”

McConnell’s refusal to do his job is not surprising; he has made a career out of work-avoidance. As I wrote here back in September, “Rather than ‘big things’ we have been treated to a clinic on entropy; a lot of ‘big words’ rather than ‘big things,’ and very little action.”

He has refused to address Russian meddling with the presidential election and now he has declined to do his job as the United States Constitution demands. In fact, we’ve known this would be the outcome since June 2015 when McConnell said on Hugh Hewitt’s show,


“Well, so far, the only judges we’ve confirmed have been federal district judges that have been signed off on by Republican senators.”

When Hewitt asked if that would that “continue for the remainder of Obama’s presidency,” McConnell answered,

“I think that’s highly likely, yeah.”

Well, at least there is one thing McConnell hasn’t lied about.