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MERRICK GARLAND: MORE THAN 500 EDITORIALS BY EDITORIAL BOARDS IN 49 STATES & DC URGE SENATE TO HOLD A HEARING AND VOTE ON NOMINEE TO FILL SUPREME COURT VACANCY – STATE BY STATE LINKS/EXCERPTS (as of April 19, 2016) (, 04/19/16)
These 509 Editorials by 279 newspaper editorial boards in 49 states and DC represent well over 90 percent of the newspaper editorial board opinions revealed by comprehensive online research. Click on State names on first page for Editorial Board links/excerpts for each State.

Grassley's childish behavior no surprise to Iowans (Des Moines Register [IA], 04/19/16)
Jeffrey Bruner, Letter to the Editor: "What Grassley didn’t mention is that Biden said this during those same remarks: “If the President [George H.W. Bush] consults and cooperates with the Senate or moderates his selections absent consultation, then his nominees may enjoy my support as did Justices Kennedy and Souter.” As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden did just that — granting hearings to the judicial nominations of Republican presidents."

EDITORIAL | SCALIA’S REPLACEMENT: Shorthanded Supreme Court missing calls (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel [WI], 04/19/16)
"The Senate should stop making political sport of the nation's highest court and move ahead with the process to replace Scalia. Instead, the court's eight justices face the prospect of 4-4 deadlocks on a variety of contentious cases, including several arising from Wisconsin.... understanding McConnell's political motivation doesn't make his decision to paralyze the court any less reprehensible.... There is a solution: Hold hearings and take a vote on Obama's nominee, Judge Merrick Garland ...a judicial moderate with a long and distinguished record. As McConnell well knows, hearings would expose this fact. The Senate approved Garland's elevation to the D.C. Circuit 76 to 23 in 1997. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, says senators should just "man up" and take a vote on Obama's nominee. We agree. Johnson should follow Kirk's lead. Let the umpires get back to the game at full strength."

“Free Pa’s federal judicial nominees from Senate limbo” (CA3blog, 04/19/16)
"The title of the post was the headline of an April 15 staff editorial on PennLive.com, criticizing Senate Republicans’ “absolute fetish of blocking President Barack Obama’s judicial appointments – an obstructionist posture that has burdened benches across the nation, particularly in Pennsylvania.” One of the obstructed nominations mentioned, of course, is that of Rebecca Ross Haywood to the Third Circuit."

EDITORIAL: A Supreme Court ‘no comment’ in Texas case is not acceptable (Sacramento Bee [CA] , 04/19/16)
"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is failing the country by refusing to act on Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill Scalia’s seat."

Stapilus: Judicial Architects (Times-News [ID] , 04/18/16)
Randy Stapilus column: "Idaho may soon fill a critical job vacancy ... That would allow a deep breath of relief on the underpopulated Idaho federal bench, which long has sought more judicial help. The Obama White House and Idaho’s two Republican senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both lawyers by profession), have agreed on David Nye of Pocatello, a 6th District judge, to fill the job. Kudos all around....Crapo and Risch are asking the Senate to push his confirmation through."

EDITORIAL: Agree or disagree, Baylor Law School panel smartly highlights supreme outrage (Waco Tribune-Herald [TX] , 04/17/16)
"We have heard from other constitutional scholars who believe Republicans assault the Constitution by declining to “advise and consent,” as the Constitution would seem to demand upon the president’s nomination of a Supreme Court nominee. They’re convincing, too. But while Guinn, [Ken] Starr and others on last week’s panel might disagree, their view is no less instructive. By declining to hold Senate hearings for much-respected U.S. District of Columbia Circuit Chief Justice Merrick Garland to answer questions, Senate Republicans further politicize the nation’s highest court — a colossally regrettable move. They also marginalize the one branch of government that arguably operates most efficiently. “It’s a mess,” Starr said. “Four-four (rulings) is just a horrible state. ... the court needs to have an odd number (of justices) to get its work done.” Incidentally, this panel was composed of those who revel in the wit, restraint and adherence to “originalism” of arch-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia,"

Obradovich: Grassley finds new reasons to block Garland (Des Moines Register [IA], 04/17/16)
Kathie Obradovich column: "Sen. Chuck Grassley keeps offering new reasons for refusing to give Judge Merrick Garland a hearing and a vote on his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. He may as well keep trying, as the explanations he’s given so far for waiting until after the next presidential election are mostly nonsense"

Relevant question should be whether judge would be fair (Idaho Press-Tribune, 04/17/16)
Randy Stapilus Op-Ed: "Idaho may soon fill a critical job vacancy that opened when Edward Lodge announced in September 2014 his intent to “assume senior status” — more or less, semi-retire — the following July. That would allow a deep breath of relief on the underpopulated Idaho federal bench, which long has sought more judicial help. The Obama White House and Idaho’s two Republican senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both lawyers by profession), have agreed on David Nye of Pocatello, a 6th district judge, to fill the job. Kudos all around.... Crapo and Risch are asking the Senate to push his confirmation through.... Would Nye and Merrick [Garland] be fair judges? That would seem to be the relevant question at hand."

EDITORIAL: Iowa Dems pull a Grassley on Hawk-I nominee (Hawk Eye [Burlington. IA], 04/17/16)
"This space has been used to be brutally critical of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s obstructionist position on the consideration of President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to replace Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. We’ve noted while Grassley likes to throw daggers at anyone who doesn’t share his unjustified position as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that government should wait until after the November election to fill Scalia’s vacancy, it’s actually Grassley who is playing partisan politics. Why? Because he’s a Republican and the president isn’t. It’s that simple. We’ve noted it’s not the type of behavior we expect from those we send to public office to work on our behalf."

EDITORIAL: Toomey skirts accountability (Scranton Times-Tribune [PA], 04/17/16)
"Sen. Pat Toomey doubled down on his obstruction last week after meeting with Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court.... He opposes conducting the confirmation process, thus ensuring that the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia will continue for more than 400 days. The average vacancy on the court lasts 67 days. Mr. Toomey declared after his meeting with Judge Garland, ... that he now opposes him on the merits.... voters already had a say in selecting President Obama, twice, and there is nothing in the Constitution that authorizes Mr. Toomey and his cohorts to invalidate the last year of a presidential term."

To Grassley: Justice delayed is justice denied (Des Moines Register [IA], 04/17/16)
Former IA Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Allbee, Letter to the Editor: "I am profoundly disappointed by Sen. Chuck Grassley’s obstinate refusal to conduct a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland. Sen. Grassley has often cited his allegiance to strict construction of the U.S. Constitution, however now he has chosen not to abide by the clear mandate requiring the Senate to “advise and consent” on presidential appointments to the Supreme Court. ... Moreover, to wait until beyond the inauguration will cause a vacancy to continue for more than a year. In the meantime, Supreme Court cases resulting in four-to-four decisions will neither resolve with finality the issues on appeal nor provide a precedent.... “Justice delayed is justice denied.” My past experience of 55 years in the Iowa justice systems informs me of the critical need for fair, just and prompt resolution of appellate litigation. Sen. Grassley’s recalcitrance appears to be grounded in the politics of the moment, in sacrifice of duty and principle — contrary to what I once believed to be the polestar of his senatorial actions."

EDITORIAL: Judicial tussles can’t find audience (Spokesman-Review [Spokane, WA], 04/16/16)
"Idaho’s two Republican senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, worked with the White House to find Lodge’s replacement. Crapo tried to quell concerns that the Garland stalemate would hurt Nye’s chances for a speedy confirmation. Speaking of Nye, he said: “The White House is strongly in support of their nomination, and Sen. Risch and I are strongly in support on the president’s nomination. There hasn’t been that consensus developed yet on the Supreme Court” nomination. Well, consensus is impossible to achieve when the Senate majority leader declares the Supreme Court process to be shut down before anyone is nominated.... filling that position is far more important than tit-for-tat. Last July, the feds declared a “judicial emergency” in Idaho ... Forty-nine of Obama’s nominees for federal judgeships were awaiting votes .... vacancies affect individuals and businesses with genuine concerns that need legal resolutions."

Free Pa's federal judicial nominees from Senate limbo: Editorial (PennLive [PA], 04/15/16)
"The Senate's Republican majority has made an absolute fetish of blocking President Barack Obama's judicial appointments – an obstructionist posture that has burdened benches across the nation, particularly in Pennsylvania.... Even before they held the majority, Senate Republicans routinely blocked movement on the president's nominees, filibustering mercilessly and delaying, sometimes for more than a year, even those judges who were eventually approved all but unanimously. Laughably, when the president offered nominations to fill three vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in June 2013, GOP leaders accused him of trying to "pack the court." ... some 50 judicial nominees are currently hanging fire .... the Senate has approved just 17 judicial nominations since Republicans took control in 2015. That's fewer than half the 40-plus circuit and district court nominees approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate during a similar period during George W. Bush's presidency.... 34 judicial districts face emergency shortages .... Also nominated by Obama ... Rebecca Ross Haywood for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit .... Toomey is urging fellow Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Idaho, Judiciary Committee chairman, to advance Colville and Younge out of committee and on to a floor vote. His advocacy is commendable, but that Toomey continues to simultaneously (and heartily) block the president's Supreme Court nominee is an irony that is hard to ignore."

EDITORIAL: Roses and thorns (Daily Press [VA] , 04/15/16)
"[T]he Daily Press Editorial Board offers a list of area citizens or institutions deserving of "roses" or "thorns." ... This week's thorns go to: • John Whitbeck, chairman of the state Republican Party, for claiming that Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland voted to uphold a ban on handguns in Washington, D.C. He was not one of the judges who heard that case. Since the Senate Judiciary Committee refuses to meet with Judge Garland, there seems no reason to misrepresent his record."

Scot Ross: Wisconsin voters silenced because Ron Johnson won't do his job (Wisconsin State Journal, 04/15/16)
"By refusing to do their job and act on nominees to fill vacancies on the federal court, Sen. Ron Johnson and his fellow Republicans who control the U.S. Senate are hurting the judicial system and undermining our democracy.... the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. ... has suffered the longest judicial vacancy in the nation, in large part because Sen. Johnson refused to allow consideration of the nomination made by President Barack Obama in 2009.... Johnson has now moved his obstruction of nominees from our Seventh Circuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. ... It’s time for Sen. Johnson to stop this unprecedented partisan obstruction and to start doing his job."

‘Plumbing new depths in the confirmation wars’ (Maddow Blog {MSNBC], 04/15/16)
Steve Benen: "the Senate actually confirmed a district court nominee this week, on a 92-to-0 vote. It was the first floor vote for any judicial nominee in two months.... The Senate Republican majority’s handling of Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination is a scandal of sorts in its own right – the GOP blockade has no precedent in the American tradition – but that’s really just the highest-profile example of a more systemic abuse. Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, told CNN this week that the Republican refusal to confirm lower court judges is “plumbing new depths in the confirmation wars, which needs to end for the good of the courts and good of the nation.”"

Ron Johnson's judicial blocks are illogical (Post-Crescent [WI] , 04/15/16)
Tom Clementi, Community Columnist: "What’s more revealing is this little-publicized point: the longest-running vacancy on any federal appeals court is that of the Seventh Circuit, which hears cases from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. This is a six-year vacancy. Why? It’s due to the efforts of one man: Ron Johnson. Soon after becoming a senator, Johnson blocked the nomination of University of Wisconsin law professor Victoria Nourse. Four years ago, a bipartisan committee was formed to screen potential candidates. Both senators Johnson and Tammy Baldwin each appointed three members to the committee. The latest nominee vetted by the committee was Madison attorney Donald Schott, who received approval from five of the six members. ... But the fact remains that for his entire term, Johnson has blocked any and all nominees to fill the Seventh Circuit’s vacancy. How Constitutional is that?"

EDITORIAL: The voice of reason (Mount Desert Islander [ME], 04/15/16)
"Sen. Susan Collins deserves a full measure of credit and respect for her willingness, once again, to break ranks with most of her Republican Senate colleagues and take the high road, rather than the partisan road.... Collins stands nearly alone among Republicans in her assertion that the Senate should “follow the regular order” and move forward with the process established by the U.S. Constitution to “advise and consent” on the president’s Supreme Court nominations.... the presidential nomination campaign process .... should not – and under the Constitution, does not – foreclose the president’s right – indeed, his duty – to nominate a new Supreme Court justice .... Collins observes that Garland, who has a strong record after 19 years on the Appeals Court and is widely regarded as something of a centrist, could be a far more appealing nominee to Republicans than anyone who might be chosen by the next president. ... Collins is again the rare voice of reason in an arena where partisanship rules. Republican Senate leaders would be wise to heed her advice, move forward with the normal Supreme Court nomination process and let the Senate consent or withhold its consent based on the nominee’s fitness for service on the nation’s highest court."

EDITORIAL: IN OUR OPINION: Thumbs up, thumbs down (Pocono Record [PA] , 04/15/16)
"THUMB DOWN to U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., for his thin veil of accommodation in "meeting" with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland on Tuesday. Toomey won't stand up for the Constitution by acting, though, to fill the glaring vacancy left by the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia. He'd rather support the Republican line of obstruct and delay, leaving the American people without a full complement on this vital court for at least nine months — just because their politics won't let them entertain anyone, however qualified, who is nominated by President Barack Obama."

World-Herald editorial: Senate ignores an emergency (Omaha World-Herald [NE] , 04/14/16)
"Nebraska’s judicial vacancy has gone unfilled for more than 18 months in a district with high caseloads. That situation is officially an emergency as defined by the federal court system. Nebraska is one of 34 jurisdictions facing a “judicial emergency.” Judicial vacancies currently total 84, with 49 nominees pending. The Nebraska judgeship has been vacant since October 2014 .... Omaha attorney Robert Rossiter Jr. has been nominated to fill the post — and no lawmaker has expressed any qualms about his qualifications.... But Rossiter’s nomination remains frozen, despite continued prodding by Fischer and Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. It reflected poorly on Grassley that he opportunistically pushed the two Iowa judicial nominees to the front of the line while qualified nominees like Rossiter remain in limbo. Nor did Grassley help his case when he stated this week that the Tennessee judge was the 324th Obama judicial nominee to be confirmed, compared with 326 for President George W. Bush. In reality, there’s no pattern for predicting how frequently voluntary retirements and other events will create vacancies. In any case, the Senate’s chief concern should be filling vacancies once nominees are properly vetted. The Senate’s obligation to decide on judicial nominees, yea or nay, is particularly great when a vacancy such as Nebraska’s reaches emergency status. Yet Rossiter remains in limbo. By its continued neglect of this important duty, the Senate is announcing its irresponsibility and unfairly burdening Nebraska’s courts."

Breakfast with a side of gridlock (Gazette [Cedar Rapids, IA], 04/14/16)
Opinion by Todd Dorman: "But gridlock Grassley is also looking a tad singed these days. He took some heat during a recent series of town hall meetings back home. ... Blame Obama. Blame an election year. Blame the Biden rule, an excuse unearthed several days after Grassley and Senate leaders had already slammed the door. Blame the dog, who ate the nomination. Insist eight justices is enough. “Full Grassley?” This is the “full grasping.” Which straw will come next? ... The nomination of Garland, a highly qualified consensus pick by a twice people-elected president, actually presented a chance to do one sane, reasonable thing before we move from frying pan to fire. ... But my senator won’t allow it to happen."

Toomey, drop the obstructionism to a Garland vote (Philadelphia Tribune [PA], 04/14/16)
Rev. Robert P. Shine, Op-Ed: "Toomey still has time to do the right thing and abandon his obstructionist stance. If he cares about the views of his constituents, and about the Constitution, Toomey should follow up his meeting with Garland with a call for timely hearings and an up-or-down vote."

Delays in justice persist (Tennessean, 04/14/16)
Jim Martin, Letter to the Editor: "The Republicans in the U.S. Senate have refused to confirm 46 judicial nominees, which is exacerbating the scandal of delayed justice. The bad guys are the Republican senators"

EDITORIAL: The non-partisan thing to do is have the hearing (Hawk Eye [Burlington. IA], 04/14/16)
"So, beyond the phantom declaration of a “Biden Rule” — it’s nonsense because there’s no such thing — Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley ... told Garland the Senate won’t be moving forward with his nomination during this “hyper-partisan election year.” It’s hyperbole Grassley is trying to mask as good governance.... To suggest this election is offering more vitriol than others, and therefore that’s justification for Grassley to not fulfill his constitutional obligation to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s nominee, is a disservice to the people who voted for him, the people who have cases before the Supreme Court, and the founding fathers who designed a system specifically to eliminate partisanship on this matter. ... And even some of his key supporters tell him he’s wrong about this. Keith Uhl, Des Moines lawyer who helped manage Chuck Grassley’s first U.S. Senate campaign and is considered a friend, said it’s time for Grassley and Republican Senate leaders to “man up and vote” on Garland."

MERRICK GARLAND: MORE THAN 500 EDITORIALS BY EDITORIAL BOARDS IN 49 STATES & DC URGE SENATE TO HOLD A HEARING AND VOTE ON NOMINEE TO FILL SUPREME COURT VACANCY – STATE BY STATE LINKS/EXCERPTS (as of April 13, 2016) (, 04/13/16)
These 501 Editorials by 278 newspaper editorial boards in 49 states and DC represent well over 90 percent of the newspaper editorial board opinions revealed by comprehensive online research. Click on State names on first page for Editorial Board links/excerpts for each State.

EDITORIAL: Grassley doing what he decried (Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier [IA], 04/13/16)
"A decade ago, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, put the qualifications of a U.S. Supreme Court nominee above politics — a position then Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., opposed.... After Bush nominated Samuel Alito in January 2006, Grassley reiterated, “The Supreme Court does not have seats reserved for one philosophy or another. That kind of reasoning is completely antithetical to the proper role of the judiciary in our system of government.”... Roberts echoed Grassley’s earlier sentiments in a Boston speech Feb. 3 ... Somehow those became fighting words for Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who is concerned Roberts may boost Obama nominee Merrick Garland .... Grassley then lamented the court wasn’t political enough. ... Grassley then lamented the court wasn’t political enough."

EDITORIAL: The charade marches on: GOP Senate keeps playing games with Obama's Supreme Court pick  (New York Daily News, 04/13/16)
"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley spent 70 minutes with the judge in the Senate dining room. On Wednesday, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire is set to receive Garland “out of courtesy and respect.” There is neither courtesy nor respect in empty ceremony.... Speaking for his caucus, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says plugging ears and saying “la la la, I’m not listening” is a matter of high principle. ... The ways of Washington have rarely been as transparently false."

EDITORIAL: Senate right to confirm Crenshaw; move on to Garland (Tennessean, 04/13/16)
"Republicans have given President Barack Obama a hard time, too, delaying judicial confirmations for political points. A silver lining came on Monday when the Senate unanimously confirmed Nashville attorney Waverly Crenshaw to the federal bench in Middle Tennessee after 14 months. Tennessee Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, both Republicans, and Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, applauded the move .... Most important, fairness will return for people who deserve their day in court.... A majority of senators may decide that Garland is not the right person for the post, but he should be given a fair hearing....Garland could very well be that person of character, temperament and community mindedness to become the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. Rather than ignoring him and his qualifications, maybe senators should do their jobs and find out. For the good of the American people."

Judicial Vacancy Crisis Hits Home in Colorado - Literally (Huffington Post, 04/13/16)
Peg Perl: "While public attention has been (deservedly) focused on the empty seat now waiting on the U.S. Supreme Court for the last two months, almost a hundred other judicial vacancies on lower federal courts have languished without nominations, hearings or votes. In fact, the Senate has only confirmed six federal judges so far in 2016, and the Senate Judiciary Committee has held but a single confirmation hearing. Now our Colorado trial judgeship is vacant and a nominee has not even been named by the White House. Senators Bennet and Gardner submitted the same three candidates to the President in January 2016 .... Indeed, the entire Colorado delegation of both parties is actually sponsoring legislation this Congress to increase the number of judges to nine to alleviate these out of control court delays. Already this vacancy has been designated as one of 34 judicial emergencies nationwide ... Perhaps Senator Gardner put it best when he said “there is particular urgency in filling this vacancy” because of the population and caseload growth"