FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 6, 2016
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Dan Weeks Calls Partisan Obstruction of Judicial Appointments Unacceptable at State and Federal level
Executive Council candidate pledges to vet all state nominees based on qualifications, not political litmus tests
NASHUA, NH – Executive Council candidate Dan Weeks will join dozens of concerned citizens today at noon at the Nashua office of Sen. Kelly Ayotte to call for an end to partisan obstruction of judicial nominees in the US Senate and the NH Executive Council.
As a longtime good-government reformer with a history of cross-partisan collaboration, Weeks noted that over 50 days have passed since Chief Judge Merrick Garland was nominated to the US Supreme Court and still Senate Republicans are refusing to fulfill their constitutional duty to consider the president's appointment. Court observes predict that numerous pressing matters will go unresolved on the Supreme Court this year as a result.
"This brand of partisan obstruction of the appointment process is unacceptable not only in Washington, but also right here in New Hampshire on the Executive Council," Weeks said. “Granite Staters expect their elected officials to fulfill their Constitutional mandate and do the job we elected them do. In the case of Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland, that means giving him a hearing and an up-or-down vote.”
Weeks noted that every Supreme Court nominee since 1875 has received a hearing or a vote, until today. Declaring the last year of the President’s four-year term “off limits” for nominations, especially on our nation's highest court, disenfranchises the millions of voters who elected the sitting president and sets a dangerous precedent for Republican Executive Councilors in New Hampshire.
"The refusal last year of my opponent, Councilor Wheeler, and his fellow Republicans to approve the governor's appointment of Dorothy Graham to the State Superior Court last November – simply because she did her job as a public defender – is a troubling case in point." Weeks said. The Executive Council's rejection of Dorothy Graham on a party-line vote, even after she received universal support from members of law enforcement at her public hearing, was a first in recent memory, according to NHPR.
“If elected to the Council, I will take the responsibility of vetting judicial nominations seriously and reject the partisan obstructionism we see today. Moreover, I will work to protect the rights of Granite Staters to publicly vet our judicial nominees, and will urge the governor to appoint highly-qualified individuals who reflect the character and diversity of our state,” Weeks concluded.