BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) recently hosted a panel that brought together University of Baltimore School of Law students and faculty with public interest law organizations in a discussion on the importance of a fully functional Supreme Court and the responsibilities of the Senate and president in regards to the court’s operations.
“The consideration of Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland is not a matter for the next president and the next Congress – it is a matter for this president and this Congress,” said Senator Cardin. “There are nine months left in this year and to suggest that we don’t have the time and the president doesn’t have the authority to appoint a nominee is absolutely outrageous – it is an affront to the Constitution. The Senate should do its job, just as the President has done his. The Supreme Court should have nine justices on the bench before it convenes its new term in October.”
“The manner in which Senate Republican leadership has handled the nomination of Chief Judge Garland also assaults the other branches of government,” said Senator Cardin. “Our political system has delicate checks and balances, but each branch must carry out its responsibility for the system to operate properly. To abandon those responsibilities and the Senate’s established traditions of meeting with Supreme Court nominees and allowing them a courtesy of a hearing, even if you oppose their nominations, is absolutely unprecedented. To break the traditions of the Senate and directly violate the Constitution is a course of action that must be rejected wholly and immediately. It violates the oath we took as senators.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court is the cornerstone of our legal system and must be protected from political gamesmanship,” said Ronald Weich, University of Baltimore School of Law Dean. “I commend Senator Cardin for focusing attention on this vital issue.”