Republican and Democratic leaders offered a characteristic response to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, with most Democrats calling on Senate Republicans to give Garland a fair hearing and most Republicans arguing that, no matter who the nominee is, the next president should fill the vacancy.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, both Republicans, already announced that they wouldn’t consider any nominee from Obama—and he said he stands by that.
“The American people may well elect a President who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration,” McConnell said in a statement on Wednesday. “The next President may also nominate someone very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.”
McConnell accused Obama of making the nomination in order to politicize the issue during a presidential election year.
“This has never been about who the nominee is. It is about a basic principle,” Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement on Wednesday. “Under our Constitution, the president has every right to make this nomination, and the Senate has every right not to confirm a nominee.”
Ryan said he supports McConnell and Grassley in their decision not to move forward with the confirmation process.
Democrats, on the other hand, started using the hashtag #DoYourJob to encourage Republicans to give Garland a hearing. Some Republicans have already broken rank to agree.
“The Senate’s constitutionally defined role to provide advice and consent is as important as the president’s role in proposing a nominee, and I will assess Judge Merrick Garland based on his record and qualifications,” Republican Illinois Senator Mark Kirk said in a statement.
In his speech, Obama warned that a failure to consider Garland would be indicative of a system beyond repair and said democracy would suffer.
Here’s how others responded on social media.