From the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland:
AG Frosh Joins 21 Attorneys General in Calling For Prompt US Senate Consideration of Supreme Court Nominee
Baltimore, MD (March 10, 2016) – Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joined 21 other Attorneys General today in delivering a jointly signed letter to US Senate leaders, calling for prompt action on a nominee to fill the current Supreme Court vacancy. “Failure to do so,” the letter said, “would undermine the rule of law and ultimately impair the functioning of state governments within our federal system.”
The letter was delivered as the Senate Judiciary Committee convened a business meeting where the vacancy was discussed. In part, the attorneys general letter read:
“Throughout our history, the Senate —without exception— has acted promptly to consider qualified nominees to the Supreme Court. The longest the Senate has ever taken to confirm a President’s Supreme Court nominee is 125 days and since 1975, a nominee has, on average, received a vote by the full Senate within 67 days of his or her nomination. Moreover, every nominee since 1875 has received a confirmation hearing. And 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.”
Attorney General Frosh and other attorneys general noted that states rely on the Supreme Court to evaluate the constitutionality of state laws, and to ensure that federal and constitutional law are interpreted and applied uniformly across all states and territories.
Also on Thursday, Attorney General Frosh issued his own statement calling on the Senate to act:
“I think what Messrs. McConnell and Grassley are proposing is undemocratic, unprecedented and unlawful. If you apply their logic, and I use the word loosely, Senator Grassley’s vote shouldn’t count for the rest of this year. Nor should those of the 23 other Republican Senators whose terms end this year.
One of the revolutionary achievements of American democracy has been the peaceful transition of power at the end of a presidential term. What these folks propose, in effect, is to cut short the term of the President of the United States. It is a nakedly partisan act. It would set a precedent that would undermine the rule of law. Perhaps next year they’ll decide that the President only gets two years to govern. Senator McConnell and his followers have a duty to the American people to do their jobs and to vote on based the merits, not based on partisan politics. They should be ashamed of these tactics.”
The full text of the joint letter is available at: https://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/AGs_letter_to_Senate.pdf