Elizabeth Warren Blasts Her Republican Colleagues for Obstructing Obama’s Nominees

GOP obstructionism over Merrick Garland pushed her over the edge.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) meets with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in April.Douliery Olivier/AP

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren is fed up with Republicans’ obstruction in Congress. In a report released Monday detailing Senate Republicans’ efforts to block President Barack Obama’s judicial and executive nominees, Warren’s office accused the majority party in the Senate of striving to keep key government positions “empty as long as possible,” thereby fueling a “new and dangerous Republican extremism.”

“The idea that Senate Republicans are willing to leave [the Supreme Court] short-handed for nearly a year seems shocking,” the Massachusetts Democrat noted in a press release accompanying the 13-page report. “But the fact is that, for more than seven years, they have waged an unrelenting campaign to keep key positions throughout government empty.”

Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in March, a month after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. But Republican leaders in Congress have refused to consider Garland’s nomination, insisting instead that the spot should be filled by the next president.

According to Warren’s report, such delays have been standard throughout Obama’s presidency. Fewer of Obama’s judicial nominees have been confirmed than under previous presidents, and those who have been approved faced a longer confirmation process.

Meanwhile, the confirmation process for executive officials—including Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez—has slowed to a crawl. A study from the Duke Law Journal cited in the report found that the average time the Senate took to confirm a president’s nominees climbed from 59 days under Ronald Reagan to 127 days during Obama’s first six years in office.

“Senate Republicans should have stood up to this extremism years ago—but it is not too late to do so now,” Warren’s report notes. “It just takes some political courage.”

Read the full report here.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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