March 16, 2016: U.S. Senate Should Act Promptly on Supreme Court Nominee, New York State Bar Association Urges

New York State Bar Association President David P. Miranda today issued the following statement:

“President Obama has fulfilled his constitutional duty by nominating a candidate to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The Senate should now fulfill its duty and act on the nominee as soon as possible. 

“A delay in filling the ninth seat on the nation’s highest court will impact the court’s ability to resolve disputes when the justices are split 4-4. 

“The late Justice Antonin Scalia made that point in declining to recuse himself in Cheney v. US. District Court for the District of Columbia. He explained what would have happened if he recused himself while sitting on the Court of Appeals.”

‘There, my place would be taken by another judge, and the case would proceed normally,’ Scalia noted. ‘On the Supreme Court, however, the consequence is different: The Court proceeds with eight Justices, raising the possibility that, by reason of a tie vote, it will find itself unable to resolve the significant legal issue presented by the case.’ 

“Scalia was writing about how a single case might be affected by a temporary vacancy.  

“The argument to fill the vacancy created by his death is even more compelling, because it impacts an entire term of cases, not just one case. 

“Justice Scalia's words live on after his passing. The process should move forward expeditiously.” 

The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary bar association in the nation.  It was founded in 1876.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director, Media Services and Public Affairs