#WeNeedNine SCOTUS Justices. We’re Living with These Nine Scary Realities Instead.
On Halloween, the entire federal judiciary remains damaged by Senate Republicans’ horrifying obstruction.
1. Within hours of Justice Scalia’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement saying the vacant seat shouldn’t be filled until Americans had a voice in the decision by electing a new president — even though President Obama would still be in office for nearly a year. So far, he’s remained true to his word.
2. It’s now been 229 days since President Obama nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland — the longest a Supreme Court nominee has ever waited for a confirmation vote. His nomination has now broken that record by more than 100 days.
3. This is the first time in history that a Supreme Court nominee has remained pending across two Court terms.
4. The obstruction persists despite Garland having more federal judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in our nation’s history.
5. For the first time in more than 150 years — when Abraham Lincoln won re-election in 1864 at the height of the Civil War — the Supreme Court will be shorthanded on Election Day.
6. While some Senate Republicans have expressed support for considering Garland, others have suggested that Republicans indefinitely block a Democratic president from filling the empty seat.
7. As Senate Republicans continue to obstruct Garland’s nomination, they haven’t confirmed a single judicial nominee in nearly four months (and they’re on pace to work the fewest number of days in 60 years).
8. There were 12 judicial emergency vacancies nationwide when Republicans took control of the Senate in January 2015. That number has now more than tripled to 37.
9. Republicans have repeatedly rejected requests to vote on judicial nominees — even though there’s a judicial vacancy crisis. There are currently more than 90 judicial vacancies on district and circuit courts nationwide, and Republicans are hiding behind a bogus statistic to deny votes.