Ohio lawmakers differ on SUPCO nomination

President Obama says confirmation is above politics

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) are weighing in on President Barrack Obama’s Wednesday Supreme Court nomination.

Obama nominated Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last month. Senate Republicans have said for weeks that they won’t hold a hearing or a vote on Obama’s nominee.

Portman issued a statement soon after the announcement saying the nomination needs to wait until a new president elected. He said it is not about the person but the principle, saying waiting for the results of the presidential election would preserve the Court’s credibility.

As I have said previously, I believe it is better for the country to allow the American people to have a voice in this debate. We are in the midst of a highly-charged presidential election that is less than eight months away, and this lifetime appointment could reshape the Supreme Court for generations. I believe the best thing for the country is to trust the American people and allow them to weigh in on this issue. This is the same position that Vice President Biden and Senators Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer have outlined in the past.

Brown said the president is doing his job by nominating Judge Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy and called on the Senate to “do their job.”

Senate Republicans have said they will refuse to even meet with this President’s nominee, much less hold a hearing and an up-or-down vote. But now we have an unquestionably qualified nominee who has earned support from both Republicans and Democrats in the past, so I expect my colleagues to put politics aside, do the job we were elected to do and give Judge Garland full and fair consideration. Anything less undermines our democracy.

Representative Tim Ryan also weighed in on the nomination:

President Obama is nominating a man who has dedicated the majority of his professional life to public service, with the goal of making the United States a more just country. Judge Garland has a world class legal mind and has the respect of both Democrats and Republicans.  I stand behind this nomination and call on the Senate to fulfill their Constitutional duty.
I have heard continued calls from my Republican colleagues to hold on any Supreme Court nominees until a new President has been elected, but we cannot allow a seat on our nation’s highest court to sit vacant for 11 months because of partisan differences – the American people deserve more from their elected representatives.

Judge Garland is a native of Illinois and attended Harvard Law School. He later clerked for Second Circuit Judge Henry Friendly and Supreme Court Justice William Brennan. Garland became a partner at a prominent law firm, with a practice focusing on litigation and pro bono representation of disadvantaged Americans. In 1989, shortly after becoming a partner, he returned to public service by accepting a job as a federal prosecutor during the George H.W. Bush Administration, investigating and trying cases involving public corruption, drug trafficking, and fraud.

Judge Garland later joined the Department of Justice, first as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division and then as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General. He was later nominated to the D.C. Circuit where he spent the next 19 years.

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