a�?My hope is that the President will promptly nominate someone with strong intellect and integrity who can win bipartisan support. I will work vigorously as a member of the Judiciary Committee to achieve confirmation.a�?
— Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senate Judiciary Committee
“The sudden death of Justice Scalia creates an immediate vacancy on the most important court in the United States. Senator McConnell is right that the American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice. In fact, they did a�� when President Obama won the 2012 election by five million votes. Article II Section 2 of the Constitution says the President of the United States nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate. I can’t find a clause that says ‘…except when there’s a year left in the term of a Democratic President.’ Senate Republicans took an oath just like Senate Democrats did. Abandoning the duties they swore to uphold would threaten both the Constitution and our democracy itself. It would also prove that all the Republican talk about loving the Constitution is just that a�� empty talk.”
— Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
“[W]e cannot allow the Republican majority in the Senate to deny the President his basic constitutional right.”
— Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
“The American people deserve better than an empty #SCOTUS seat for over a year. The Senate needs to do its job without delay and obstruction.”
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
a�?This is an important responsibility. The Senate should fulfill its constitutional obligation without letting partisan politics intervene. When the president nominates someone, that person should get a full and fair review.a�?
— Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
“As I read the Constitution, it clearly says we have an obligation, the president has an obligation to do our constitutional duty, to fill a vacancy. To allow that seat to remain vacant for more than a year, with all the consequential things going through the Supreme Court right now, in unacceptable.”
— Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
“Justice Scalia believed in following the Constitution to the letter. Let’s follow it now and fill this vacancy.” and “Republicans want an elected president to make this appointment to the Supreme Court. Good news: we have a TWICE-elected president ready to do just that.”
— Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
a�?The voters clearly spoke that they re-elected Obama by a pretty wide margin in a��12 and hea��s the president; he should nominate somebody the Senate should consider. Not necessarily vote for him, but at least consider. But they are saying that this president should only have a three-year term and he should be disregarded for the last 11 months and theya��re just wrong about that.a�?
— Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
a�?Supreme Court decisions affect every person in our Nation. It is for this reason that I was pleased to hear that President Obama will nominate a successor for the High Court. The process of Advice and Consent for nominees to the United States Supreme Court is one of the Senate’s core constitutional responsibilities and should not be delayed.a�?
— Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
It is “absolutely critical that President Obama quickly nominates a Justice to the Supreme Court bench, and that the Senate consider his nominee without delay. Some of my colleagues from the other side of the aisle have expressed their preference for waiting to fill Justice Scaliaa��s seat until after the election. I strongly disagree. We cannot let the increasingly contentious nature of our countrya��s electoral politics play an outsize role on the ability of the highest court in the land to carry out its judicial mission with a full bench.a�?
— Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE)
“When @POTUS nominates his candidate for #scotus, the Senate should fulfill its constitutional duty and hold hearings/vote without delay.”
— Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA)
“As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe it is critical for the President to now nominate a qualified candidate for this position and for the Senate to confirm a qualified nominee to fill the vacant seat on our nation’s highest court. My hope is that the Senate, and the Judiciary Committee in particular, will work to ensure that the American people have a full Supreme Court.”
— Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Senate Judiciary Committee
“Part of the Constitution requires (Senators) to take nominations the president gives us and work on them. If they meet all qualifications, (we) confirm them. If not, (we) send it back and ask the president for another. When the next president is in office, when they have Supreme Court vacancies, they can fill those.”
— Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
“This notion that theya��re rejecting the idea that he would want to be president for the remaining 11 months of his term, in my mind, is an indication of just how bad things are in the Republican-controlled Congress.”
— Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
a�?Over the coming days and weeks, Justice Scalia will be mourned and remembered. However, the work of the Supreme Court will continue. There are important cases pending before the Court, and the prospect of 4-4 decisions is not in the public interest and does a profound disservice to the notions of swift and equal justice in this country. The presidenta��s authority to fill judicial vacancies remains constant for the duration of his term. President Obama has an obligation to put forward a nominee to succeed Justice Scalia, and the Senate has an obligation to quickly consider that nominee. To do otherwise would undermine the branches of government, and leave our country in a precarious position. The American people need a government that works.a�?
— Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
“And with a duly elected President and 100 duly elected senators, we should now all do our jobs as outlined in the Constitution and undertake the process of finding a qualified replacement. In 2012, the American people decisively elected President Obama to serve a second four-year term. Because a new President will take office in 11 months is not a sound reason for leaving a vacancy on the Supreme Court.”
— Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)
a�?The Supreme Court should not go a year with a vacancy and the Senate should now fulfill its responsibility to carefully consider and confirm a new justice as soon as possible.a�?
— Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
“I am disappointed that some are already shamefully suggesting a seat on our highest court should be vacant for well over a year. Senate Republicans must meet their constitutional responsibility to confirm a qualified nominee. There is no reason beyond partisan politics to deprive the American people of a fully staffed Supreme Court.”
— Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
“It’s now the responsibility of the President to nominate someone to fill that positiona��and for the U.S. Senate to fully vet and consider that nomineea��in a timely fashion. Other justices have been confirmed in the final year of a president’s term, and it would be irresponsible of the U.S. Senate to keep the court from working at its full capacity for political reasons.”
— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
“I urge the President to nominate a successor to Justice Scalia of stellar qualification and integrity. And I urge the Senate to consider any such nominee fairly.”
— Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
“I think I have an obligation and a duty over the next months to make a case that the country can’t leave this position vacant for over a year. At some point you have an obligation to our democracy and our history. The good thing for our democracy is not to hold open a Supreme Court seat for a year for political reasons.”
— Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
a�?Every single American is affected by the Supreme Court of the United States. And as we have seen demonstrated through recent Supreme Court rulings decided by a narrow 5-4 margin, every vote on the Supreme Court counts. Make no mistake a�� a single vacancy matters. It matters for all those who value breathing clean air or drinking clean water; those who work for a living or are retirees; those who own a cellphone; those who are troubled by corruption in our political process and those who value our national security. The stakes are high for all of us.a�?
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
“I believe that the President should nominate and the Senate should follow its constitutional obligation and advise and consent on the nomination. We have a responsibility to the American people to fulfill our duties. I will evaluate any nominee before the Senate based on their qualifications and judicial philosophy. I would hope that political posturing in Washington does not prevent me from being able to cast my vote.”
— Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)
“There’s important business in front of #SCOTUS in 2016. Senate should fulfill its responsibility to fill vacancy but #GOP’s playing politics.”
— Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA)
a�?There is a vacancy a�� we should do our job and fill it. Only in Washington would politics interfere with doing our jobs. Leta��s do the work the Constitution requires.a�?
— Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
“It is critical that the President and Senate move quickly and thoughtfully to nominate and confirm a nominee to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy.”
— Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
“Barack Obama is our President until January 20, 2017. He has the Constitutional authority and responsibility to submit a nomination to fill the vacancy left with Justice Scalia’s passing. President Obama should exercise that authority. And the Senate should fulfill its constitutional duty to hold a timely hearing and a vote on the Senate floor on the President’s nominee.”
— Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
“For my friends in the Senate who say they believe in the Constitution, check Article II again. Still says a ‘Term of four Years’.”
— Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)
a�?With so many critical issues before the Supreme Court, I am hopeful that the President can move as quickly as possible to fill this vacancy with the advice and consent of the Senate.a�?
— Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
a�?I hope Senate Majority Leader McConnell will give a hearing on the nomination and then give a vote, so people can vote yes or not. Thata��s the way the constitutional system is set up to work.”
— Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
“In my mind, it’s very clear that the president has a clear constitutional requirement to nominate a Supreme Court Justice and it is the job of the United States Senate to have hearings and to vote on that. If you look at history, we’ve had vacancies in the Supreme Court under Republican presidents and Democratic presidents. They nominate Supreme Court Justices and the Senate does their job. This should not be a partisan issue. I’m just really disappointed that I have Republicans who are making this a partisan issue. The Supreme Court can’t do its job if the United States Senate doesn’t do our job.”
— Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
a�?The President can and should send the Senate a nominee right away. With so many important issues pending before the Supreme Court, the Senate has a responsibility to fill vacancies as soon as possible. It would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat. Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senatea��s most essential constitutional responsibilities.a�?
— Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Democratic Leader
McConnell “doesna��t even know who the president is going to propose. And he says, a�?No, wea��re not having hearings, wea��re not going to go forward. [Leaving] the Supreme Court vacant for 300 days in a divided time? This kind of obstructionism isna��t going to last.a�?
— Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
“The President should nominate and the Senate should confirm. That’s the way we’ve always done it. There’s a precedent for confirming justices in an election year.”
— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
“The United States Senate has confirmed at least 14 Supreme Court justices during Presidential election years and there’s no reason this upcoming nomination by President Obama can’t be the next one. My colleagues in the Senate have the right to vote yes or no on any Supreme Court nominee, but they do not have the right to ignore our constitutional duty by withholding any vote at all.”
— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
a�?President (Barack) Obama is going to be in office until the middle of January; ita��s the middle of February now. Thata��s 11 months out. I mean, come on. We should not let the election process stop us from doing our job. I think ita��s a mistake.a�?
— Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)
There will be much discussion in the coming months about the future of the court. President Obama has almost 11 months left in his presidency. He should nominate a new justice, and the Senate should do its job and vote on the confirmation.a�?
— Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
a�?If there is discussion of waiting for what amounts to a year, that is way outside the mainstream of American government, in terms of how these matters have been handled.”
— Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
a�?I am appalled that Republicans have politicized the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the process to confirm his replacement. The fact of the matter is that the Supreme Court cannot go with a vacancy for nearly a year. A number of consequential rulings, covering topics such as marriage equality, health care reform, and campaign finance were recently decided 5-4. And this year, the Court is grappling with cases that impact the future of Americaa��s labor unions, our immigration system, higher education, and more.
a�?The Constitution is clear on what must be done. The President will nominate a qualified candidate, and the Senate must go forward and fulfill our Constitutional duty to advise and consent on the Presidenta��s nominee. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that a Justice cannot be appointed and confirmed in an election year. The Majority Leader has said time and time again that his goal is to restore regular order in the Senate, which in this case, would mean the swift confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee. The Republican vow to block any Supreme Court nominee has once again proven that they are obstructionists and the party of no.a�?
— Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI)