Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Reid Rebuts Obama on Senate Role

From an account of President Obama’s remarks yesterday in Chicago:

Holding court before Chicago law students, Obama argued that the treatment of judge Merrick Garland will cause the public to lose confidence in the ability of courts at all levels of government to fairly judge cases and resolve controversies.

Our democracy can’t afford that,” Obama said.

To his credit, Democratic leader Harry Reid vigorously disputes Obama:

One of the subjects I want to touch on briefly today is to express some concern about statements from the administration, including from the President, that the Senate’s treatment of judicial nominees ‘hurts our democracy.’ His statement is unsettling, unfounded, and it is a misunderstanding of the fundamental separation of powers in the Constitution, the checks and balances in the Founders’ design.

Oops, minor clarification: Reid made that statement in 2002.

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