EXCLUSIVE: Republican attorneys general from across the U.S. sent a letter to the Senate Thursday morning urging them to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
Addressing “those who believe the Senate should not hold a hearing” in their letter, which was obtained by Fox News, they quoted a similar letter that they said Democratic attorneys general (AGs) sent in support of Merrick Garland’s nomination in 2016.
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“The Constitution clearly sets out the process for filling a Supreme Court vacancy. The president has a duty to make a nomination,” the Republicans quoted from the 2016 letter, which was signed by AGs from 19 states, including California and New York.
The Republicans went on to quote the Democrats, who said that the Senate “has the responsibility to consider and approve or disapprove the nomination. While simple, this is the law and it should be followed.”
Thursday’s message to the Senate, signed by 22 state attorneys general, also used the Democrats’ reference to historical precedence for confirming a justice in an election year.
“Indeed, as the 2016 letter makes clear, ‘since 1900, six justices have been confirmed during election years, including Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was confirmed in the final year of the Reagan administration.'”
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Democrats are insisting that the Republican Senate majority should hold off on the confirmation process so that the winner of November’s presidential election would get to nominate the next justice. In 2016, it was Republicans who made this argument and refused to hold hearings for Garland, who was nominated by President Barack Obama during his final year in office.
Republicans have claimed that this year is different because the Senate and White House are controlled by the same party. President Trump claimed during Tuesday’s debate that if Democrats were in control today, they would confirm a nominee.
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“The Democrats, they wouldn’t even think about not doing it. The only difference is they’d try and do it faster,” Trump said. “There’s no way they would give it up.”
The Republican AGs did not just make their case for why the Senate should move forward, they also lauded Barrett as someone they believe “will make an excellent associate justice,” citing her academic and professional credentials, as well as her “unwavering commitment to a judicial philosophy that prioritizes restraint, humility and respect for the rule of law.”