Connecticut’s Democrat-controlled Senate will consider a resolution today asking the U.S. Senate to hold confirmation hearings on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.
The resolution, which is emergency certified and never had a public hearing, lists several cases as reasons why the U.S. Senate needs to act to fill the vacancy left by the Feb. 13 death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
One of the cases highlighted in the resolution, Shew v. Malloy, involved Connecticut’s 2013 gun control legislation. Plaintiffs in that case asked the Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision in favor of the state.
The resolution also lists cases involving reproductive rights and electoral apportionment as important decisions that likely will end in split decisions with only eight justices currently on the court. A split decision means the lower court’s ruling stands.
In March, Obama nominated Garland, who is currently chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to serve as the next associate justice on the Supreme Court.
But Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate have made it clear that they do not intend to hold hearings or vote on Garland’s nomination. They argue that the next president should fill the vacancy.
Only two Republican Senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Mark Kirk of Illinois, have openly supported holding a hearing for Garland. Every Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has signed a letter in opposition to a hearing.
Connecticut’s resolution was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk.
Duff recently joined a coalition of state legislators and local government officials in 17 states to call on the U.S. Senate to give Garland a fair hearing.
“The state of the law in this country may be uncertain in the absence of nine Justices sitting on the Supreme Court adjudicating the cases and controversies that come before the court,” according to the resolution.
The court has issued two split decisions since Scalia’s passing. One involved spousal rights under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the other involved the payment of fees by non-union teachers in California.