On Thursday morning, Republican attorneys general sent a letter to the Senate urging them to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
The letter addresses “those who believe the Senate should not hold a hearing,” quoting a similar letter saying Democratic attorneys general (AGs) sent in support of Merrick Garland’s nomination in 2016.
“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, signed by AGs from 19 states.
Moreover, the Republicans went on to quote the Democrats saying the Senate “has the responsibility to consider and approve or disapprove the nomination. While simple, this is the law and it should be followed.”
The letter sent to the Senate, signed by 22 attorneys general from across the nation, 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,” the letter continued.
However, democrats insist that the Senate hold off the confirmation process for the next justice for November’s winner of the presidential election. In 2016, Republicans made this argument and refused to hold hearings for Garland, who was nominated by President Barack Obama.
Republicans, however, have claimed that this year is different because the same entity controls the Senate and the White House. On Tuesday’s debate, Trump said that if Democrats were the ones in control, they’d confirm a nominee right off the bat.
“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 who sent the letter didn’t make their case for why should the Senate move forward with their suggestion, lauding Barrett as someone they believe “will make an excellent associate justice,” citing her academic and professional credentials, and her “unwavering commitment to a judicial philosophy that prioritizes restraint, humility and respect for the rule of law.”