WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and Senate Climate Action Task Force, participated in a press conference at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court today to urge Senate Republicans to do their job and act on the Supreme Court vacancy. Senator Heinrich was joined by climate champions U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Green for All Founder Van Jones, League of Conservation Voters Senior Vice President Tiernan Sittenfeld, and Clean Water Action National Political Director Nancy Leeds.
"This Supreme Court nomination process has been extremely disappointing," said Sen. Heinrich in his remarks. "Right when we need to confront the reality of climate disruption and define the path toward a cleaner energy future, the fate of the President's Clean Power Plan could come before a hamstrung Supreme Court. The political games surrounding the Supreme Court nomination are creating enormous uncertainty for our nation's energy sector. We must all call on Republicans in the Senate to do their job and stop refusing to meet their constitutional duties."
It's been 41 days since President Obama announced his nomination of Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Merrick Garland to serve as the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
Across the country, climate champions are joining forces to demand that Republicans do their job and ensure a full bench on the Supreme Court. A fully staffed Supreme Court, with nine justices, is necessary to ensure fair and definitive rulings on important energy and environmental cases.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is considering a challenge to the Obama administration's historic ‘Clean Power Plan' (CPP) in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, which may ultimately come before the Supreme Court. That decision stands risk of having a 4-4 tie if the Supreme Court vacancy is not filled. Senator Heinrich joined a bipartisan group of 44 current and former Senators and 164 current and former House members in filing an amicus brief in support of the CPP rule. The CPP will reduce carbon pollution and address climate change, save consumers $155 billion by 2030, create jobs, and prevent 90,000 childhood asthma attacks through 2030.