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March 16, 2016 / Press Releases

Statement by NARAL on nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court

March 16, 2016

As President Obama today fulfilled his constitutional duty to act on filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court, NARAL Pro-Choice America called on Senate Republicans to do their job and hold a hearing on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. As chief judge on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals and a former principal associate deputy US attorney general, Garland is an accomplished jurist who has had an impressive legal career. Despite Judge Garland’s qualifications, Senate Republican leaders have stated their refusal to hold a hearing on any nominee to fill the vacancy on the high court—a commitment made even before the identity of President Obama’s nominee was known.

In light of Senate Republicans’ continued refusal to do their jobs and consider the nomination of Judge Garland, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue issued the following statement:

“By objective standards, there are few more qualified candidates for the highest court in the land than Judge Merrick Garland, yet the Republican Senate is refusing to do its job and move his nomination forward in a timely manner. They are intentionally leaving a vacuum in one of the most hallowed and significant institutions in our country and denying the American people a complete and full vetting of a new Supreme Court justice.

“This year, monumental cases will be decided by the Court on abortion access specifically and reproductive rights generally. Judge Garland does not have a public record on reproductive rights and Senate Republicans’ obstruction denies all of us our right to know where this nominee stands on core constitutional questions of women’s privacy, dignity, and equality. With seven in ten Americans supporting legal access to abortion, we have a right to know where our justices stand on this important issue. It’s time for Republicans to stop putting their party’s interests ahead of our nation’s.

“We look forward to learning more about Judge Garland’s views on the constitutional right to abortion and reproductive freedom as this process continues. President Obama fulfilled his constitutional duty today to help fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, now Senator McConnell and the Senate Republicans must fulfill theirs.”


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