Students', Congress's opinions divided on SCOTUS nomination

Students', Congress's opinions divided on SCOTUS nomination

POTUS's nomination of Merrick Garland is under debate in Congress and on campus.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia added madness to an already bizarre election cycle. Scalia, an esteemed conservative jurist appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986, was widely respected by republicans. Scalia’s death has left a vacancy on the nation’s highest court, and has caused intense debate between both parties.

Judge Merrick Garland, who is currently the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, has been tapped as President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court. 

Obama praised Garland for having “a track record of building consensus as a thoughtful, fair-minded judge who follows the law.” 

Democrats have told republicans to "do their job" after not holding hearings about possibly confirming Garland. Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said on C-SPAN the next president should fill Scalia’s seat, “so that the American people have a voice in this momentous decision.”

Like the Senate, students at the University were divided on what action, if any, should be taken. 

Terrence Curry, a junior majoring in accounting, said he wants the seat filled under Obama.

“Especially with cases that are going on, it’s not like all the [Supreme Court justices] are there. It’s like uneven when it comes to decision making,” he said. 

However, Curry said because of Congress's current structure, he believes the seat will not be filled until later, possibly after the next president takes office.

By contrast, Dorothy Davis, a freshman majoring in special education, said she believes the seat should be filled under the next president.

“I feel like it should be filled later because, I mean, we’re about to get a new president in like less than a year, so I feel like if it were selected now, the position might not be necessarily beneficial the same way it would in a year," she said.

Many students expressed opinions similar to those of Braxton George, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering. 

“I didn’t even know there was a vacancy on the Supreme Court,” George said. “I’m sure it’s not that big of a deal, it’ll get settled eventually so I’m not too worried about it.”

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