Merrick Garland
Merrick Garland (Diego M. Radzinschi)

The nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court last week prompted swift reactions on both sides of the political line. Here are some statements we gathered after President Barack Obama’s announcement on March 16.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

“Personally, we’re friends. But [opposition to hearings until after an election] isn’t about that. It’s about this climate and what we’re in and the denigration of the court, and that’s what I’m having a tough time about.”

Debra Ness, president, National Partnership for Women and Families

“We call on every senator to put petty politics aside and do her or his duty by giving prompt and fair consideration to Judge Garland. Women have a tremendous amount at stake. “

Neal Katyal, partner, Hogan Lovells

“The thing you get every single time is he’s not only brilliant, he puts in the sweat equity. He comes in on the weekends, he has his clerks come in when he’s working on opinions over the weekend. He’s just always trying to get it right.”

John Banzhaf III, professor, George Washington University Law School

“Unfortunately, the president missed his chance to make a liberal recess appointment — a move which would have helped decide many key cases this term his way, and pressured Republicans to move quickly to confirm a more moderate nominee later.”

Robert Maldonado, national president, Hispanic National Bar Association

“We call on the Senate to fulfill, in a timely fashion, its own judicial review process. Should they refuse or fail to do so, Senate leaders will not only be abdicating their constitutional duty; they will be thwarting the will of the American people and denying millions the full relief that only the highest court in the land provides.”

Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council

“Some of Judge Garland’s most recent opinions and dissents raise serious questions about his ability to serve as a constitutionalist.”

Caroline Fredrickson, president, American Constitution Society

“Judge Garland is a person of integrity and he would bring an understanding of how the world works to the nation’s highest court. These qualities will put the Supreme Court back at full-strength.”

John Schmidt, partner, Mayer Brown

“He’s a very sensible person. He’s the kind of person who, if you’re in a meeting with him, he’s looking for some common ground, he’s looking for a way to move ahead.”

Brian Rogers, executive director, America Rising Squared

“At the D.C. Circuit, Judge Garland’s vote to re-hear a landmark case striking down strict gun restrictions in Washington, D.C., is deeply concerning to all who care about our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

Juanita Duggan, president and CEO, National Federation of Independent Business “A cursory examination of his record points to a judge who nearly always sides with regulators, labor unions and trial lawyers at the expense of small businesses.”

Amy Jeffress, partner, Arnold & Porter

“He doesn’t need to prove he’s the smartest person in the room. He just is.”

Carter Phillips, chairman, Sidley Austin

“I don’t think he’d be a replacement for Justice Scalia in that he’d be asking 10 to 15 questions in 30 minutes of argument. I also don’t think he’d be a shy and retiring justice.”

Kent Zimmermann, consultant, Zeughauser Group

“If Garland’s nomination goes down in flames, Garland probably won’t be renominated in the future. That has never happened before. So Garland is basically a sacrificial nominee.”

Arthur Miller, professor, New York University

“He is a person with impeccable credentials who is moderate in his views, able to build consensus, and no one I have ever met doubts his qualifications for the Supreme Court. There is no rational reason to reject his nomination and it would be a misfortune for the nation if partisan politics denied us his wisdom on the court.”

Kurt Walters, campaign director, Demand Progress

“It’s disappointing that President Obama missed the opportunity to solidify his legacy by appointing a true progressive to the Supreme Court.”

Nancy Northup, president and CEO, Center for Reproductive Rights

“President Obama took an important step by nominating Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court Justices are responsible for some of the most consequential legal decisions affecting the lives of all Americans, and we strongly urge the Senate to put partisan politics aside and move quickly to fulfill its constitutional duty by immediately holding confirmation hearings.”

Chris Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action

“A basic analysis of Merrick Garland’s judicial record shows that he does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.”