Biden was joined by retired Federal Judge Timothy Lewis to draw on the parallel between Lewis’ appointment and the push for Garland’s appointment.
Biden introduced Lewis as “a retired federal judge who was nominated to the bench by a Republican president and confirmed by a Democratic Senate – within four weeks of a presidential election.”
President Barack Obama nominated Garland in March but there has yet to be a vote, making this the longest pending nomination in history.
Biden, a former long-time ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, presided over nine nominations and said each one received a hearing and a vote on the Senate floor.
“Nobody is suggesting that Senators have to vote ‘yes’ on a nominee. Voting ‘no’ is always an option,” Biden said. “But saying nothing, seeing nothing, reading nothing, hearing nothing and deciding in advance simply to turn your backs is not an option the Constitution leaves open.”
Lewis said the backlash of further stalling could be detrimental to the country’s well-being.
“Historic obstruction is leading to greater litigation costs and delays – the burden falling mostly on average Americans rather than corporations with endless resources,” he said.