Rep. Tim Ryan wants Senate to wait to appoint Supreme Court justice while Rep. Bill Johnson wants a quick confirmation


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

The announcement by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy that he will retire July 31 prompted reactions from members of Congress who represent the Mahoning Valley.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, wants the U.S. Senate to wait to vote on a replacement until after the November election, while U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, urged a quick confirmation.

Ryan said: “Elections have consequences. In the last few years we’ve seen an unparalleled unraveling of reproductive rights, voting rights and workers’ rights alongside a grotesque influx of dark money into our political system thanks to the Supreme Court. If President Trump is able to install another ultra-conservative ideologue to the court, we can only expect it to get worse. [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell should follow his own precedent and forgo any vote on a replacement until after the American people have had their voices heard in the midterms.”

Johnson said of Kennedy: “While I haven’t agreed with all of his decisions, he is a man of unquestioned integrity.”

He added: “I encourage President Trump to nominate a qualified jurist from the list of potential Supreme Court judges he unveiled during his presidential campaign – someone who will interpret the Constitution as written, rather than legislating from the bench. Whoever ends up filling this vacancy will play a major role in the future of the high court. I encourage Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his colleagues to act quickly to confirm the nominee for this open seat before the new Supreme Court term begins in October.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Cincinnati-area Republican, said, “I’m grateful for Justice Kennedy’s many years of service on the Supreme Court and wish him well in his retirement. I look forward to learning who President Trump plans to nominate and thoroughly assessing his or her qualifications for this important role. The job of a Supreme Court justice is to fairly and impartially apply the law and to protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not to advance public policy goals by legislating from the bench. The president and Congress must now work together to do the important work of putting a highly qualified person in place who understands this role.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, said, “I’m already very troubled by the actions of the Supreme Court in just the last few weeks – taking away workers’ rights, voters’ rights and women’s rights. I hope the president will take this opportunity to bring Americans together by appointing someone with a well- respected record that all sides can support.”

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