Hispanic Caucus: Supreme Court Vacancy Must Be Filled Immediately

Hispanic Caucus: Supreme Court Vacancy Must Be Filled Immediately

Washington, D.C. – The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) released the following statements on the Supreme Court vacancy. The statements follow meeting between President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, and Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Patrick Leahy.

“Republican obstructionism knows no limits. They claim to love the Constitution and then stand in the way of upholding it. Once again, Republicans are playing politics instead of doing what’s right for our country. There are several cases critically important for Latinos before the Supreme Court this year and without a ninth Justice, the Latino community has so much to lose. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus urges the swift nomination of a Supreme Court Justice that will keep the interests of Latinos and all minority groups in mind,” said CHC Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez.

“The refusal to consider a nominee to the Supreme Court would be detrimental to Americans across the country who are looking to the Court to decide critical cases involving voting rights, affirmative action and immigration executive actions,” said CHC First Vice Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“If Senate Republicans truly wish to honor Justice Scalia’s legacy, they should fulfil their constitutional duty and consider any Supreme Court nominee President Obama puts forward. Leaving a seat on our nation’s highest court vacant for nearly an entire year would be unprecedented and irresponsible. Republicans have already gridlocked Congress, now they’re threatening to stymie a second branch of government. From immigration to women’s rights, there are profoundly significant issues on the Supreme Court’s docket for the coming months. Having nine justices ensures our country can move forward on these and other consequential matters,” said Second Vice Chair Joaquin Castro.

“It is the President’s constitutional duty to appoint someone to the Supreme Court when a seat opens up, regardless of when it happens,” said Congressman Jose E. Serrano. “Republicans need to stop obstructing the process and work with Democrats to vet a nominee. This is the same courtesy basic courtesy and decency that our side has provided Republican Presidents who have nominated someone to the Supreme court. The Republican Party’s actions and statements so far are disrespectful of the Court and of our democracy. With several important cases still pending, there is a lot at stake for all Americans- it is time for the Republican leadership to stop playing games.

“Every single person in this country – including the Latino and immigrant community – is affected by a vacancy on the Supreme Court,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “We should rightfully expect any President to do his job and fulfill his or her Constitutional duty and send an eminently qualified nominee to the Senate. All logic, all reason, and the Constitution itself, dictate that every President has the duty to do so. And, likewise, we should rightfully expect the Senate to do its job and fulfill its Constitutional duty and consider the nominee by holding a hearing in the Judiciary Committee, move to a transparent debate and vote on confirming the nominee. In this case, I say to my Republican colleagues, the Constitution is settled law. Let’s not unsettle it through a misguided determination to score political points to undermine the legitimacy of this President.”

“Republicans’ refusal to fulfill their constitutional obligation could cripple our nation’s highest court at a critical time for women, immigrants, and the right to vote. Senate Republicans should remember that they pledged allegiance to our Constitution and the people, not their party,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra.

“Republicans always talk about defending the U.S. Constitution except when they are against it. Senate Republicans should do their jobs: hold hearings, vet the President’s nominee, and have a vote approving or disapproving. That is what the Founding Fathers meant by ‘advice and consent,’” said Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez.

“It is unconscionable that Senate Republicans would refuse to carry out their constitutional duties in voting on a nominee to the Supreme Court. We must all speak with one voice in demanding that the Senate give fair consideration of President Obama’s nominee,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez.

“As the chair of the Texas Democratic congressional delegation, I regret the Senate majority has engaged in a pattern of systematically delaying and obstruction of judicial appointments, particularly with regard to Texas, which leads the nation in federal bench vacancies and judicial emergencies. At the federal level, the current Supreme Court term will decide several pivotal cases that will have far reaching effects on issues such as voting rights, affirmative action, and immigration policy – areas that will greatly affect Latinos and underserved communities. I call upon our senators to put politics aside and fulfill their constitutional obligations – duties which they ostensibly took an oath to uphold; this includes filling the myriad of vacant federal benches, holding hearings, and proceeding with a floor vote on the President’s Supreme Court nominee,” said Congressman Rubén Hinojosa.

„It is time for the President and the U.S. Senate to fulfill their constitutional duty by filling this Supreme Court vacancy without undue delay. President Obama must promptly nominate a worthy and just successor for the late Justice Scalia’s seat, and the Senate must give the President’s Supreme Court nominee a fair hearing and timely vote. Wasting time and playing political games with the highest court in the land is irresponsible and unacceptable,” said Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.

“The Supreme Court’s work is too important to leave a vacancy for more than a year. With several important decisions coming, from voting rights to the President’s executive actions on immigration, Republican obstructionism will have a significant impact on the American people, particularly vulnerable communities. Once President Obama nominates a justice to the Court, the Senate should do its job. Senate Republicans’ refusal to act on a nominee shows an utter disregard for their Constitutional duty and for the American people,” said Congressman Ben Ray Luján.

“The consideration of Supreme Court nominees is a fundamental constitutional responsibility of the Senate. Choosing to ignore that duty, because you don’t like the President, is irresponsible and an insult to the American people,” said Congresswoman Norma Torres.


The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.


fot.Michael Reynolds/EPA

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