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NEA President: The American people are counting on the Senate to do its job

Eskelsen García: Americans strongly oppose Senate Republicans’ refusal to consider a Supreme Court nominee

WASHINGTON - March 16, 2016 -

President Barack Obama fulfilled his constitutional duty to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court today, nominating Merrick Garland. Garland is the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a court whose importance is only surpassed by the Supreme Court itself. The National Education Association is urging the U.S. Senate to do its job by considering the president’s nominee, and hold a hearing and a vote on Chief Judge Garland.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:

“Now that President Obama has fulfilled his constitutional duty to nominate a Supreme Court justice, Senators must do their job.

“Merrick Garland is eminently qualified, has impeccable credentials, and possesses a mastery of the law. Chief Judge Garland's service in senior positions in the Justice Department and his nearly two decades on the D.C. Circuit Court speaks volumes about his integrity and qualifications to serve on the highest court in the land.

“Americans are counting on the Senate to do its job by considering the president’s nominee, hold a hearing and a vote. This is a duty that both political parties always have fulfilled. Never in our nation’s history has a Senate majority said they refuse to consider or vote on anyone nominated by the current president.

“By refusing to consider the president’s nominee, Senate Republicans are playing political games, delaying action on the Supreme Court nomination, caving to the extreme voices of its party, and putting politics ahead of its constitutional duty.

“I urge the Senate to move quickly to hold a hearing and a vote to confirm Judge Garland so that the court can continue to serve the American people at full strength.”

Background about attitudes regarding the Supreme Court vacancy
In a recent poll of likely voters in battleground states conducted by telephone February 19 to 22, 2016, a large majority of those polled (69 percent) indicated the Senate should consider President Obama’s nominee and take an up-or-down vote. The poll also found that there’s strong opposition across party lines to the Republican Senate’s refusal to consider any nominee (60 percent) or prevent up-or-down vote (64 percent).

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez  202-822-7823,