Thanks to Senate Republicans’ unprecedented obstruction and abrogation of their constitutional responsibilities, the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland expired on January 3, 2017. As a result, the We Need Nine project has closed.
Once President Trump makes his own selection for the Supreme Court, the U.S. Senate has a duty to provide a careful, thorough, and independent review of his nominee.
Nominees to the Supreme Court must have demonstrated a commitment to the rule of law and to protecting the constitutional rights and freedoms of all Americans, not just the wealthy and the powerful. They must also have shown respect for our constitutional values of liberty, equality, and justice for all. Finally, any Supreme Court nominee should leave their own political agenda behind and approach every case with an open mind and commitment to fairness.
When President Trump announces his selection, Senators – and all Americans – should ask four basic questions about the nominee:
1. QUALIFIED: Are they highly-qualified, do they meet the high ethical standards demanded by the position, and do they have the temperament to serve on our nation’s highest Court?
2. MAINSTREAM: Are their views within the mainstream of constitutional law, American legal traditions, and jurisprudence?
3. CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS FOR ALL: Are their views consistent with mainstream American constitutional values and respect for the belief that the Constitution protects the rights and freedoms of all Americans, not just the wealthy and the powerful?
4. OPEN-MINDED AND FAIR: Will they approach every case with an open mind and commitment to fairness, and not make decisions based on a political agenda?
No nominee who fails this basic test should be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.