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Judging the Environment judicial nominations photo

A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

Senator Statements


Senator's Party
Senator's State
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Sen. Lankford Floor statement: FILLING THE SUPREME COURT VACANCY
(Republican - Oklahoma) 03/09/16
"I would submit, with only months left until the Presidential election, that we should let the people decide."

(Republican - Arkansas) 03/09/16
"[W]ith regard to a Supreme Court nomination, the only task for this Senate is to wait passionately and listen to the American people."

Sens. Alexander & Corker reaffirm support for confirming 2 TN district court nominees
(Republican - Tennessee) 03/08/16
"Alexander and Corker are ready to get Crenshaw through now. They also have another district court nominee, Edward Stanton, who's been waiting for a confirmation vote since October. "I've urged Sen. McConnell first to confirm Waverly Crenshaw," Alexander told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. "He's well-qualified, I support him, and in the line of district judges, he's up toward the front." A Corker spokeswoman said he, too, "remains supportive of Mr. Crenshaw and Mr. Stanton.""

Sen. Cornyn: American People Should Decide Future of Supreme Court
(Republican - Texas) 03/08/16
In a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) addressed the importance of letting the American people have a voice in who selects the next Supreme Court justice this November. ..."It's important to allow the voters, in choosing the next President of the United States, make that decision and make sure their voice is heard rather than just 100 members of the Senate.”

Sen. Lee: Let American people decide on Supreme Court
(Republican - Utah) 03/07/16
"The president is entitled, of course, to discharge his own constitutional authority to nominate. But it is the Senate’s constitutional prerogative to withhold consent and protect the People’s voice."

Sen. Cornyn Responds to Attacks from Senate Democrats on Supreme Court Vacancy
(Republican - Texas) 03/03/16
In a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) addressed the Supreme Court vacancy and the decision to let the American people have a say in who fills it this November.... "During an election year, a Supreme Court nominee should not be confirmed.”

Sen. Ron Johnson on filling Supreme Court and Wisconsin Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacancies
(Republican - Wisconsin) 03/03/16
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is standing by his position that the next president should nominate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement, despite poll results indicating most Wisconsin voters disagree. "I’m a pretty principled guy," Johnson said at an event in Madison on Wednesday. "I mean what I say."... Johnson, however, defended his position as "imminently reasonable." "We know what the result would be," he said. "I think it’s pretty obvious, the type of justice that President (Barack) Obama would nominate." He pointed to Obama’s appointments of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan as examples of the president’s preference for what Johnson called "super legislators" for the bench, rather than judges. ... In a letter (link is external) made public Tuesday, 48 professors from Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin law schools urged Johnson to allow the appointment of Donald K. Schott to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to move forward.... Fallone, who lost a race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2013, said the letter was not intended as an attack on Johnson and that he did not believe Johnson planned to block Schott's nomination. Johnson, however, left that option open in brief comments to reporters in Madison. He blamed Baldwin for endangering Schott's nomination when she forwarded his name to the president without Johnson's consent. "She violated the confidentiality of the process and really put that 7th Circuit nominee at risk," Johnson said. However, he also called Schott "a good man."

Sen. Tillis Calls Out Democratic Leaders For Stalling Opioid Addiction Bill
(Republican - North Carolina) 03/03/16
"I'm one of the senators on the Judiciary Committee who signed the letter. I do not believe until we hear the vote of the people that we should hear a SCOTUS nomination,"

Sen. Barrasso: Democrats Created Precedent for Supreme Court Nominations
(Republican - Wyoming) 03/03/16
“Let the new president make this lasting decision without the political influence of the election hanging over it."

Sen. Grassley Floor Remarks on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act
(Republican - Iowa) 03/03/16
"And because we have this bill on the floor, I also asked the Democrats on the committee to hold our weekly Judiciary Committee business meeting over here in the Capitol building instead of in the committee meeting room. ... we could have voted out some judges.... I understand that they're protesting the Judiciary Committee's lack of action on a Supreme Court nomination, a nomination we couldn't even possibly consider if the President doesn't send it up. So I imagine that this is just the first of several problems that we're going to have in the next few weeks."

Sen. Toomey at CPAC on Supreme Court vacancy
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 03/03/16
Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter: "Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who linked stagnant wages with businesses' increased regulatory burden, promised the Senate would confirm a "Justice Scalia replacement that is like Justice Scalia in 2017," echoing Republican leadership's promises that the Senate will not confirm any replacement that Obama nominates. "The Republican majority in the Senate will not allow the Supreme Court to flip. You can take that to the bank," Johnson said. Johnson, who faces a tough re-election fight, further said that there was "no such thing as moderate judges," suggesting that any judges who find the Clean Power Plan to be legal are "super-legislators" not following the Constitution."

Sen. Scott: The will of the people must prevail
(Republican - South Carolina) 03/02/16
"This election should be seen as a great opportunity for the people to tell government exactly what they want from the Supreme Court in the decades to come. It is our next President, who should be responsible for nominating our next Justice to ensure that the people’s wants of the future, not of the past, are clearly represented."

(Republican - Georgia) 03/02/16
"The Constitution tells us that the President shall make an appointment, or a nomination, to fill that vacancy and the Senate shall offer its advice and consent. There is no deadline or trigger date.... It is only appropriate that the Supreme Court majority, as it is cast, be made up of nine people, five of whom are in the majority, who were appointed freely and without political influence, judged for their best political and legal acumen and in the best interest of the country.... It is only right that we have the best and most contemporarily appointed Court that we could possibly have, and the only way to do that is to make sure that the next President makes the appointment."

Sen. Grassley: Coequal Branches of Government
(Republican - Iowa) 03/01/16
"The American people deserve the opportunity during this election year to weigh in on whether the next Justice should apply the text and original meaning of the Constitution"

(Republican - Kentucky) 03/01/16
"Senator Grassley, and I will meet with President Obama later this morning. We will reiterate that the American people will have a voice in the vacancy on the Supreme Court as they choose the next President, who in turn will nominate the next Supreme Court Justice."

(Republican - Utah) 03/01/16
" The Constitution does not mandate a particular process to address this Supreme Court vacancy. We have to look all the way back to the 19th century to find a year in which the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court nominee of the other party in a Presidential election year."

Sen. Grassley Statement after Meeting with President Obama on Supreme Court Vacancy
(Republican - Iowa) 03/01/16
“Whether everybody in the meeting today wanted to admit it, we all know that considering a nomination in the middle of a heated presidential campaign is bad for the nominee, bad for the court, bad for the process, and ultimately bad for the nation. It’s time for the people to voice their opinion about the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system of government.”

Sen. Cornyn quoted in POLITICO on judicial vacancies
(Republican - Texas) 02/28/16
John Cornyn, the second-ranking Senate Republican and a former Texas Supreme Court judge, was attending Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral this month when he found himself chatting with White House counsel Neil Eggleston. The topic: their mutual interest in confirming judges to lifetime appointments to the federal bench.... “I don’t think the situation with regard to Justice Scalia’s vacancy is going to have any impact on those other appointments. We’ll be processing those,” Cornyn told POLITICO. “The fight is about [the Supreme Court], it’s not about nominations in general.”... The conversation between Cornyn and Eggleston centered around the senator’s home state of Texas, where seven of the country’s 31 judicial "emergencies" — openings deemed especially pressing because of heavy caseloads and under-staffed benches — are located. Filling those courts would require some new nominees to be put forward this year.

Sen. Rounds Weekly Column: Justice Scalia: The Gold Standard
(Republican - South Dakota) 02/26/16
"I have determined that my benchmark for the next Supreme Court Justice will be Justice Scalia himself. Scalia’s strict interpretation of the Constitution and deference to states’ rights set a gold standard by which his replacement should be measured. Recently, every Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee—which is in charge of reviewing court nominations—sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressing their firm belief that the people of the United States deserve to have a voice in determining the next Supreme Court justice.... As a result, the committee does not plan on holding any hearings related to this issue until after the election in November. This decision will allow the American people to have a voice in the next Supreme Court Justice based upon who they elect as president in the upcoming election."