Inhofe, Lankford: Tradition Says Outgoing President Shouldn't Nominate Justice

Wednesday, March 16th 2016, 6:01 pm
By: Tess Maune

President Barack Obama has made his nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal judge who has strong ties to Oklahoma.

Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Merrick Garland played a key role in the Oklahoma City bombing case.

Garland is the man who led the federal investigation following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. He supervised the prosecution that brought Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols to justice.

“The people of Oklahoma City gave us their trust, and we did everything we could to live up to it,” Garland said in News On 6 file footage.

On Wednesday, Obama gave Garland his trust and approval     by nominating him for the Supreme Court seat once occupied by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Garland has served as the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1997.

“He performed very well during the crisis we had in Oklahoma,” U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, (R-Oklahoma) said.

Inhofe voted in favor of that appointment nearly 20 years ago, but says he won't vote that way this time.

“This has nothing to do with who the nominee is or the qualifications, or lack thereof,” Inhofe said.

Instead, Inhofe says, it's about keeping with a tradition that has been in place since 1888.

“We can't let some President who is on his way out make a determination of something that will last for years to come,” he said.

U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) agrees and says the American people should have the final say through electing our next president.

“This has been the same thing that we've done throughout decades of history in the senate that we don't put people in the Supreme Court during the final year of an administration,” Lankford said.

The Senate must approve the President's nomination, but the Republican majority says it won't consider it.

The high court will continue hear cases with eight justices. If there's a deadlocked decision, the lower court's ruling would stand.

3/16/2016 Related Story: President Obama Nominates Merrick Garland To Supreme Court