Updated 12/23/16.  This post originally appeared on 11/15/16 to foster signatures for a petition calling for  The White House to appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court without Senate approval since the Senate had refused its obligation to confirm or deny the appointment with hearings or an up or down vote.  The petition required 100,000 signatures to be considered by The White House and received 105,388 signatures. The failure of the Senate to consider Garland is unprecedented in U.S. history and is shrouded in many myths:

Myth One:  Lame Duck presidents do not have the right to nominate Supreme Court Justices.

Truth: One third of all past presidents have nominated justices during their last term and last year of office. These have included John Adams, Andrew Jackson, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes,  John Tyler and Martin Van Buren.

Myth Two: Lame Duck presidents never nominate during an election year.

Truth: Six Supreme Court Justices have been confirmed in elections years since 1912. PolitiFact has osted the following infographic to show their photos and the history of their nominations. One third of all past presidents have nominated justices during their last term and last year of office. These have included John Adams

Now that the petition is complete, Congress has adjourned and the nomination has lingered, what can be done to create an up and down vote? We’re still researching this ourselves, but one thing is clear — each citizen can contact his or her Senators and Representatives to create an outcry about the Senate’s dereliction of duty.  Meanwhile, read the original post below so when in conversations with family and friends who feel the Senate block is justified, you’ll have some ammunition and facts to set the record straight.


On March 16, 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court. Since then, Republican Senators refuse to entertain the idea of Garland stepping up to fill the vacant ninth Supreme Court chair and have not held any confirmation hearings for Garland’s nomination.

Republican Senators have stated that it is the duty of President-Elect Trump to nominate someone to fill Scalia’s spot while others are still fighting for a Supreme Court Justice to be placed during Barack Obama’s Presidency. Republicans criticize Garland for being too liberal while Democrats fear that whomever Trump will nominate will be too conservative and the momentum of civil changes seen in Obama’s presidency with diminish.

A conversation between journalist Charlie Rose and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg outlined the two scenarios for the vacant Supreme Court seat:

In the interview, which aired Monday and Tuesday, Rose noted that the next president will now have the opportunity to appoint a new justice. “That’s one scenario. The other possibility is after the election, the Senate will act,” Ginsburg said, suggesting that the Senate could hold hearings for Garland during the lame-duck session between November’s presidential election and the inauguration on Jan. 20.

(Read the full article on TIME.com here)

Garland’s appointment has been excessively delayed to an absurd claim that it is not President Obama’s right to make such a nomination so late in his term. The media is increasing this belief by reporting Trump’s plans for his own Supreme Court Justice nominations rather than acknowledging that it is the Senate’s expectation to move forward with President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. Due to the Senate’s delay, it is possible that they have waived their constitutional right, leaving a door open for Obama to appoint Garland to the ninth Supreme Court seat without Senate consent. It is possible that 100,000 little hinges could swing this big door open. If you agree, sign this petition by December 9th: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/we-people-ask-president-obama-immediately-appoint-merrick-garland-supreme-court

~Lyndsey Karp