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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

NCIL Statement on SCOTUS: Give the President’s Nominee Fair Consideration with Hearing and Vote

On March 16, 2016 President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, for the vacancy in the U.S. Supreme Court. Now it is the Senates’ Constitutional duty to give the President’s nominee fair consideration with a hearing and a vote. Below is the National Council on Independent Living’s statement on the SCOTUS nomination process.

March 25, 2016

Dear Senators of Congress,

The National Council on Independent Living writes to express our support of President Obama nominating a potential Supreme Court Justice to succeed Justice Antonio Scalia. At this point, President Obama has nominated Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Merrick Garland. Now it is the Senates’ Constitutional duty to give the President’s nominee fair consideration with a hearing and a vote. 

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), individuals with disabilities, and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.

As your constituents, it is disappointing and irresponsible that nominating a new Supreme Court Justice has become a political issue. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated, “The Judiciary Committee has unanimously recommended to me that there be no hearing. I’ve said repeatedly and I’m now confident that my conference agrees that this decision ought to be made by the next president, whoever is elected.” This level of non-compliance from any members of the Senate is contrary to our democratic system.

Several polls have shown that the majority of Americans want to see a filled Supreme Court now, and the National Council on Independent Living is in agreement. If any congressional member thinks they have the American people’s best interest in mind by stalling this process then they have silenced the rights and voices of their constituents. Supreme Court cases, such as Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), affect thousands of Americans every day. We need our Supreme Court at full capacity now, and we need a Justice who understands the needs and rights of people with disabilities.

Sincerely,

Kelly Buckland

Executive Director

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