SD US Senators Back Supreme Court Nominee Block

Mar 18, 2016

Credit U.S. Senator Mike Rounds

South Dakota’s US Senators are pushing back against President Obama’s recent Supreme Court nomination.  

U.S. Senator Mike Rounds defends the decision to not hold hearings for any of Obama’s nominees, leaving the Supreme Court position vacant until after the election.

But critics say this strategy could backfire on the GOP.

President Obama recently nominated Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court.  Garland is currently the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

But South Dakota’s U.S. Senator, Mike Rounds says the senate will not hold hearings for any of Obama’s nominees.

“He has the right to make a nomination, but the Senate’s role is to advice and consent, which year in and year out has been determined to be we don’t have to hold hearings if we do not think it appropriate to do so,” says Rounds.

He says the Democratic Party would do the same if the tables were turned.

“It’s simply a matter right now that they understand if Republicans win the presidency, you’re going to get a more conservative approach to the interpretation of the constitution, which is different than what President Obama is going to be able to provide based upon the support that he receives from his base,” Rounds says.

But some Democratic leaders say taking no action could hurt the GOP in the long run. Michael Ewald is the Communications Director for the South Dakota Democratic Party.

“Only people that exist in sort of the Washington echo chamber think that it’s appropriate to refuse to do your job for ten months. It’s a constitutional duty for the Senate to at least give consideration and give an up or down vote for a president’s judicial nominee. And so I think that the American people [are] overwhelmingly in support of at least going through the process. It doesn’t mean that they have to vote for the nominee. It does mean that they have to give them a vote. And if they refuse to do that, I think that the American public is ready to tell these members of congress that if they really don’t want to do their job, they don’t have too,” Ewald says.

The Senate’s decision not to consider Obama’s nominees would leave the Supreme Court Justice seat vacant for 10 months.