Arizona’s Latino community leaders and attorneys are calling on Republican Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain to give fair consideration to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland.
During a conference call, attorney and Regional President of the Hispanic National Bar Association Freddy Saavedra said the Arizona lawmakers are bound by the constitution to fulfill their duties and hold confirmation hearings and a vote in the United States Senate.
“As Latino attorneys, we are keenly aware of what is at stake for our community,” Saavedra said. “Major decisions impacting the right of our children to an education, the rights of our immigrant family members, our voting rights – end up at the Supreme Court. For Latinos, the courts are the venue of last resort to protect our civil rights from the political scapegoating that we see too often in electoral politics.”
Saavedra is a personal injury attorney with the Phoenix-based law firm Alex & Associates. His sentiments were echoed by Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Professor Charles Calleros. He spoke on behalf of the group Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary.
“The Latino community, and the nation as a whole, is served by a fully staffed judiciary, which will be achieved when all judicial vacancies are filled within a reasonable time and through a constitutional process that is not paralyzed by hyper-partisan politics,” Calleros said. “The interest in avoiding 4-4 ties in that Court vastly outweighs the partisan political interests associated with presidential elections.”
McCain and Flake join an overwhelming chorus of Republican Senators who have vowed not to hold confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. President Obama nominated Garland following the death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia earlier this year.
Senate Republicans claim it would be inappropriate for the President to appoint a justice during his final year in office. Obama, along with a growing number of legal scholars and attorneys say Republicans are neglecting their constitutional responsibilities by refusing to even consider a Presidential appointment.
“The Supreme Court is treasured by Americans because it has usually managed to stay above the political fray,” Saavedra said. “We cannot let partisan politics drag down this revered institution.”