Washington, D.C. (March 16, 2016) — President Barack Obama on Thursday announced Chief Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Judge Garland, 63, has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for 19 years. CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and CAPAC Chair Emeritus Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17) released the following statements:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“Nominating justices to the Supreme Court is one of the primary duties of the President. In naming Judge Merrick Garland, a seasoned jurist with a commendable record, President Obama has fulfilled that constitutional duty. Now it is time for the Senate to fulfill theirs. Refusing to even meet with a nominee, as Senate Republicans are doing, is an unprecedented level of partisan dysfunction. A well and fully functioning Court is essential for our entire judicial system. With important cases on critical issues that would affect millions of Asian American and Pacific Islander families still to be decided – including the President’s authority to exercise executive discretion in enforcing our nation’s immigration laws – we cannot afford to leave a seat vacant for another year.
“Unfortunately, from refusing hearings on his Supreme Court nominee or his budget priorities to filing lawsuits against the use of executive power, Congressional Republicans have made obstructing the actions of this Administration a priority. That is misguided and only serves to erode trust in government. I urge Senate Republicans to change course and hold a hearing on Judge Garland, his experience, his views, and his qualifications. Cooperation and dialogue, not obstruction and partisanship, are the only ways forward.”
Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Chair Emeritus:
“President Obama has taken a great deal of effort to ensure that the Supreme Court will add another extremely qualified legal scholar to the bench. Chief Judge Merrick Garland has already been considered for a seat on the Supreme Court because of his long history of excellent work on the DC Circuit. The President has chosen a man with amazing credentials, a mastery of the law and a history of independent legal thought.
“This nation is built on a system of checks and balances: Executive, Legislative and the Courts. For us to be the best nation possible, we must have a full Supreme Court, ready to hear cases that will determine our future as a nation. Republican leadership in the Senate must adhere to a strict reading of the Constitution, advise the President on the nomination and vote on their consent to him/her joining the Court. It is time for Senate Republicans to put away politics and do their jobs. Americans should accept no less.”
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.