Judge Garland is No Consensus Nominee; Senate is Right to Defer to the American People

CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Obama nominated Merrick B. Garland to serve on the United States Supreme Court, to fill the seat left vacant by Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

"Judge Garland is far from being a consensus nominee and would be an incredibly different jurist than Justice Scalia. In fact, he was opposed by almost a quarter of the Senators who voted on his nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court in 1997, and some of Judge Garland’s most recent opinions and dissents raises serious questions about his ability to serve as a constitutionalist.

"During this presidential election year, there is not time to provide any nominee the thorough review necessary to adequately consider a person’s appointment to the Supreme Court. In fact, it has been almost a century and a half since a Supreme Court vacancy occurred and was filled in an election year when the White House and Senate were controlled by different parties.

"This November, Americans will speak to who they want nominating the next Justice for the United States Supreme Court. The American people should have a say, and the Senate should respect Americans' desire to speak to this important issue by declining to schedule hearings and votes on a Supreme Court nominee this year.

"Declining to vote on this nominee is, in effect, withholding consent to the nominee. Twenty-five other nominees to the Supreme Court have not received an up-or-down vote.

"The Supreme Court has become the centerpiece of this presidential election, and in a few months, the American people will choose a president who will nominate a replacement for Justice Scalia’s seat," concluded Perkins.