North Carolina's two Republican senators say they have no interest in considering President Barack Obama's nomination, announced Wednesday, of appellate court judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In statements issued shortly after Obama announced his choice, both Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Thom Tillis focused on the timing of the decision, not whether Garland is qualified.
"The American people deserve a voice in the nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice," said Burr in a two-sentence statement. "This appointment could easily tip the balance of the court in a direction not supported by the American people as evidenced by 2014’s election results giving Republicans both the Senate and House.”
Tillis said much the same.
“While President Obama is entitled to nominate an individual to the Supreme Court, the Senate has made it clear it will be exercising its Constitutional authority to withhold consent of the nomination. We are in the middle of a presidential election, and the Senate majority is giving the American people a voice to determine the direction of the Supreme Court," he said.
"This is about the principle, not the person. Rather than drag the nation into a bitter, partisan fight over a confirmation process that will never come to pass, I hope President Obama will use his final months in office to work across the aisle with Congress to produce meaningful solutions that create new opportunities for hardworking Americans,” Tillis said.
Tillis is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would normally hold hearings on a Supreme Court nomination. Burr is up for re-election this year and his stance is likely to be an issue in his race against Democratic nominee Deborah Ross.
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