Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 29° Cloudy
News >  Spokane

Inland Northwest lawmakers fall in party line on Supreme Court nomination

The Congressional delegation of Washington and Idaho quickly moved to support their parties’ positions in the upcoming confirmation battle for Supreme Court appointee Merrick Garland on Wednesday.

Washington Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray called on the Senate to hold hearings on President Barack Obama’s pick to replace Antonin Scalia, while Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, fell in line behind Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, saying the replacement should be appointed by Obama’s successor.

“Any Supreme Court confirmation shouldn’t be done flippantly; it needs to be a thoughtful process, with full respect for the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution,” McMorris Rodgers said in a written statement. “That’s why I stand by the Senate in their decision on how to move forward with the confirmation process.”

McConnell said last month following Scalia’s death the Senate would not hold confirmation hearings until after the November election, and he reiterated that commitment in a floor speech Wednesday after Obama announced Garland as his choice.

Crapo issued a statement backing McConnell’s position.

“The next Supreme Court justice will make decisions that affect every American and shape our nation’s legal landscape for decades. Therefore, the current Supreme Court vacancy should be filled by an individual nominated by the next President of the United States,” Crapo said.

But Cantwell and Murray also invoked the Constitution in calling for the Senate to perform its duty and consider Obama’s nominee.

“Judge Garland is a highly qualified nominee. Now it’s time for the Senate to do its job. Advice and consent isn’t an option, it’s an obligation,” Cantwell said in a statement, referencing constitutional language giving the Senate authority to weigh in on presidential nominees.

Murray also praised Garland as “a strong nominee with an impressive background,” and noted that the Washington, D.C., appellate judge had received the backing of Republicans in the past.

“Senate Republicans need to put partisan politics aside for the good of the country and work with Senate Democrats and the President to give Judge Garland fair consideration and fill this vacancy responsibly,” Murray said in her statement on Garland’s nomination.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.