Strickland Statement on Two-Month Anniversary of Garland Supreme Court Nomination

COLUMBUS, OH — On today’s two-month anniversary of Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, Ted Strickland issued the following statement: 

“Here’s a telling contrast: for an astounding two months Senator Portman has refused to do his job and even consider the Supreme Court nominee — but it only took Sen. Portman 24 hours to line up behind Donald Trump with the hope that he will reshape the Supreme Court for generations. Ohioans are demanding that Senator Portman uphold his constitutional duties and do his job, but just like the ultimate Washington insider that he is, Portman is continuing to put the interests of the D.C. power brokers and wealthy special interests he serves over the people of Ohio.” 

Portman has come under fire from protesters, leaders of the legal community and editorial boards for his refusal to consider the Supreme Court nominee, and polling shows that a strong majority of Ohioans disagree with Portman’s position:

  • Toledo Blade editorial stated, Portman “should do the self-evidently right thing and give him a hearing. This is America. Judge the person.” 

  • Columbus Dispatch editorial stated, “Once again, [Republicans] are making it easy to portray them as obstructionists...Senate Republicans, such as Ohio’s Rob Portman, have advanced the argument that the voters of the United States should decide who should be nominated to the Supreme Court through their vote for president in November. But that’s exactly the decision the voters made three Novembers ago when they elected Obama to a four-year term, which continues until January.”

  • Cleveland.com editorial stated, “Sen. Portman has decided to fall in line with Republican Party leaders in their sharply partisan and uncompromising stance on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination. It was a mistake for Portman to do so.”

  • Cincinnati Enquirer editorial stated, “The Enquirer editorial board urges Portman, who’s up for re-election, and McConnell to reconsider their opposition to hearings for this nominee who has previously received bipartisan support. We elect our leaders to run government, but increasingly they seem to spend their time raising money for the next election, running for office and/or shutting down government to make a point.”

  • Toledo Blade editorial stated, “The Republican-controlled Senate -- including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman -- has no justification for refusing to give the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland a fair hearing and a yes-or-no vote… If Senator Portman maintains his lockstep partisan obstructionism, Ohio voters will need to keep that in mind this Election Day.” 

  • Youngstown Vindicator editorial stated, “Republicans in Congress, including Portman, are demanding that Obama ignore the Constitution with regard to one of the most important duties of a president: the nomination of federal judges, including those for the U.S. Supreme Court.” 

  • Toledo Blade editorial stated, “Creating a crisis in one of the three branches of the federal government is too high a price to pay for partisan advantage…. Regrettably, Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who is seeking re-election this year in a state that Mr. Obama won twice, has adopted his party’s indefensible line.”

  • An Akron Beacon Journal editorial stated that Portman “fell, predictably, into the party line… Yet the majority does have an obvious responsibility to see that the courts function, and to show respect for the will of voters.”

  • Columbus Dispatch editorial stated, “This is an affront to the president’s constitutional authority to nominate a justice. And it is an abdication of the Senate’s duty to ‘advise and consent’ in confirming a nominee; it should consider an individual’s merits.” 

  • The Dean Emeritus and the Wilbert and Helen Ziegler Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati wrote that Portman’s position “is wrongheaded and injurious to the court as well as to other sectors of government and to the economy more generally.”

  • Judge Mark Painter wrote in the Cincinnati Enquirer that Portman "believes that the Senate should shirk its constitutional duty” and is "guilty of putting both party and politics above the law of the land."

The Strickland for Senate campaign also recently launched a website, www.DoYourJobRob.com, highlighting the voices of Ohioans speaking out against Portman’s Supreme Court obstructionism.

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