Following President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the D.C. Circuit to fill the vacancy left by sudden passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, there has been an intense clamor from the left for the Senate to “do your job!”
By this, they mean that the Senate has a constitutional obligation to give Garland a hearing and an up-or-down vote, which Senate Republicans have announced they are not going to do. But is the Senate obligated under the Constitution to do so?
The answer is clearly “no.”
The president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the supreme Court ….” That’s all Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution says about the confirmation process for justices to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Of course, the constitution doesn’t say the Senate has to give Supreme Court nominees a vote. When it was to Harry Reid’s advantage, that was his position. Now that it isn’t to his advantage, he takes the opposite view.
In 2005, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., also reminded us:
The duties of the Senate are set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Nowhere in that document does it say the Senate has a duty to give presidential nominees a vote. It says appointments shall be made with the advice and consent of the Senate. That is very different than saying every nominee receives a vote.
Source: Liberals Told Senators ‘Do Your Job’ on Court Nominee. What the Constitution Says.