Oct 04 2016
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement as the Supreme Court heard its first oral argument of the new term:
“The Supreme Court today heard the first oral argument of the new term. Due to unprecedented Republican obstruction, the Court begins its term with only eight justices for the first time in 25 years.
“Since Justice Scalia’s death, the Court has tied seven times. Two other times it has punted on important issues because the Justices could not reach agreement. These cases have already affected businesses, individuals and families nationwide.
“There is a great potential for deadlock, and a deadlocked Supreme Court is no Court at all. It can’t perform its most important function—resolving disputes between lower courts and ensuring clarity in federal law. We are already seeing reports that the Court is avoiding cases to prevent 4-4 ties, and that’s not how the highest Court in our land should be forced to operate.
“Judge Merrick Garland’s qualifications are impeccable. I’ve met with him twice and there is no one better suited to be a Supreme Court Justice. Senate Republicans are doing real damage to the institution and undermining our federal judiciary with their actions and I would hope Judge Garland is swiftly confirmed in the lame duck session.”