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JAS: Set Politics Aside in SCOTUS Succession Process

February 17, 2016

 JAS: Set Politics Aside in SCOTUS Succession Process 

Contact: Laurie Kinney, lkinney@justiceatstake.org, (202) 588-9454; cell (571) 882-3615
 
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 17 - Justice at Stake Executive Director Susan Liss issued the following statement today, in response to the political controversy surrounding the nomination of a successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

“There is an alarming trend toward politicizing judicial selection in all our nation’s courts, not just our highest, and it has been deeply disheartening to see the conversation about filling the vacancy on our Supreme Court teetering on the brink of political circus. 

"Justice at Stake opposes highly politicized judicial selection processes and advocates for fair and impartial courts staffed with diverse jurists of the highest caliber.  To meet that standard, we urge the separation of the process to fill the present vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court from the partisan politics of this year’s presidential race. 

"All sides must respect the dignity of the constitutional process, which is the best way to honor Justice Scalia’s memory and serve the American people.” 

Since the untimely death of Justice Scalia on February 13, controversy has erupted over the political advantages or disadvantages to be gained in the presidential race by attempts to delay the naming of a successor.  President Obama states he will nominate a successor “in due time.” On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley indicated a willingness to wait until a nominee is named before deciding if hearings would be scheduled, despite calls by some lawmakers to prevent any hearing on a nominee from taking place.  

Justice at Stake Executive Director Susan Liss joined JAS full-time on February 16. Liss’s career as a public interest attorney and leader spans more than thirty years, during which she has been a champion for civil rights, women’s rights, democracy and the Constitution. She is available for further comment and discussion regarding the politicization of courts and the courts’ role in our democracy.  
 
 
 
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