Sweet also deserves a vote on nomination
In her Aug. 14 Another Voice column in The News, Vanessa Glushefski writes of the extreme importance of the U.S. Senate doing its job and providing “advice and consent” on the president’s selection for the U.S. Supreme Court. She is absolutely correct. Merrick Garland has now been waiting longer than any other Supreme Court nominee. Garland deserves to be considered by the Senate, and so do the American people who need a functioning judiciary.
But Garland is not the only nominee waiting for the Senate to do its job. Buffalo attorney Kathleen Sweet, nominated by President Obama in March to fill the U.S. District Court vacancy in the Western District of New York, has been waiting since March 8. While the Supreme Court vacancy is devastating, the majority of cases never make it to the highest court; they are heard by the nearly 900 lower Federal Court judges nationwide. Ten percent of these seats sit vacant, however, because the Senate majority places ideology above the public good.
The Senate returns to Washington after Labor Day and it is unclear whether Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will allow the judicial nomination process to move forward in the short time remaining in this Congress. I urge the Judiciary Committee to report her nomination out of committee so Sweet can receive full consideration by the Senate as soon as possible. She – like all pending nominees – deserves a vote on the merits.
When it comes to confirming judges, the Senate needs to do its job.
Frank Housh, Esq.
Chairman, WNY Lawyers Group
of the American Constitution Society