Senator Lankford Statement on President Obama’s Supreme Court Nomination

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today made the following statement on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court:

“The death of Justice Antonin Scalia is an enormous loss for the Supreme Court, but more importantly for our nation. A lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is extremely important and will shape monumental decisions that will impact America for decades. Justice Scalia’s constitutional approach to legal interpretation should be the standard for people who serve on the Highest Court in the land.

“Article 2, section 2 of the Constitution gives the President and the Senate an equal 50-50 responsibility in the process of filling a Supreme Court vacancy. The President has today fulfilled his constitutional requirement, now the Senate has an opportunity to provide ‘advice and consent.’ While the Constitution says the President shall nominate judges to the Supreme Court, it does not say the Senate shall approve a nominee. Based on previous historical precedent, I support Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s intent to give the American people a say in Justice Scalia’s replacement this year at the ballot box.”

In June 25, 1992, then-Senator and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Joe Biden, said, “Can our Supreme Court nomination and confirmation processes, so racked by discord and bitterness, be repaired in a Presidential election year? History teaches us that this is extremely unlikely. It is my view that if the President…presses an election-year nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.” Biden also said “President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not–and not–name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”

As Senator Harry Reid said on May 19, 2005, “The duties of the Senate are set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Nowhere in that document does it say the Senate has a duty to give Presidential appointees a vote.” 

On March 9, Lankford delivered a speech on the floor of the Senate about the Supreme Court vacancy. This week, Lankford launched a ‘Supreme Court: Fact v. Fiction’ social media campaign to correct some of the misinformation currently being communicated about the Court vacancy. 


CLICK HERE for the YouTube version and CLICK HERE for the DropBox version of Lankford’s video statement