SALDEF Applauds Nomination of Merrick Garland to SCOTUS

Washington, DC — The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) fully supports President Obama in nominating The Honorable Merrick Garland of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court.

Chief Judge Garland is remarkably qualified to serve as the next Supreme Court Justice. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, he served in the private sector, in government, in academia, and in the judiciary. While SALDEF called on President Obama to nominate the first Asian American Supreme Court Justice, we realize the profound statement Sri Srinivasan made as the first Asian American in history to make it to a President’s “short list.” SALDEF wholeheartedly supports President Obama’s nomination of Chief Judge Garland, we are encouraged by the consideration of Judge Srinivasan, and we eagerly await the first Asian American Supreme Court Justice.

SALDEF implores the United States Senate to fulfill their constitutional responsibility and swiftly hold hearings and confirm Merrick Garland as the next Supreme Court Justice. While Senate Republicans have a history of judicial obstruction — there are currently 77 vacancies for federal judgeships compared to 43 when the Republicans regained control of the Senate — it is out of line for Republicans to drag the Supreme Court into partisan politics.

The Supreme Court is too critical to allow a long-term vacancy. The court has monumental cases on abortion, immigration, affirmative action, and voting rights this term — all issues that have significant consequences for Sikh Americans, Asian Americans, and the country as a whole. More than 60% of the nation believes that the Senate “should hold hearings” on the Supreme Court nominee — with a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans agreeing on the issue.

Without knowing the nominee, Senate Republicans took an obstructionist stance on the Supreme Court confirmation process. Merrick Garland not only deserves a Senate hearing, but he also deserves to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. SALDEF joins many national Asian American organizations in applauding President Obama for nominating Chief Judge Garland, and in calling for the Senate to fulfill their constitutional duty and swiftly hold hearings and confirm him as the next Supreme Court Justice.

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