NASW Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Nomination

President Obama wants to nominate a U.S. Supreme Court Justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia (seated second from the left). Photo courtesy of CNN.

President Obama wants to nominate a U.S. Supreme Court Justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia (seated second from the left). Photo courtesy of CNN.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) urges President Obama to submit a nominee to fill the vacant seat of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

President Obama has said he intends to nominate Scalia’s successor. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has ruled out the possibility of scheduling a confirmation hearing until after the presidential election in November.

McConnell’s plan to delay the confirmation hearing is unacceptable and the Senate must fulfill its constitutional obligation to hold hearings and vote on the nominee.

If the Senate leadership maintains that position, it will mean that Justice Scalia’s seat will remain open for more than a year. With many important social justice and human rights cases hanging in the balance, a year is far too long to have an eight-member Supreme Court that has already been ideologically divided.

President Obama has the obligation and responsibility as well as the authority and right to make nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate must also fulfill its obligation and NASW urges the Senate to schedule hearings once a nominee is announced and hold a vote on the nomination.

For more information on this issue contact NASW Social Justice and Human Rights Manager Mel Wilson at


  1. Now that Merrick Garland has been nominated, it will be interesting to see how the process will progress, given the current Senate schedule and election timeline.

  2. Im proud to be a member of an organization that takes a leading role when speaking out for justice. The republicans continue to consistently obstruct actions taken by our President.

  3. We have a president, elected by the people of the USA. It’s his job to appoint a nominee and congress needs to vet and approve the seat. Just because you may not like who is currently serving our country does not mean your political biases should hold up progress. I’m glad the NASW is addressing this issue.

  4. Another “Statement” from NASW lacking quantification/source of its claims. Exactly what “social justice and human rights cases” are “hanging in the balance” today? Which of these cases have NASW submitted Briefs and/or “Friend of the Court” documents to the Supreme Court?

    Any hearings on any candidate, whether he/she be liberal or conservative, held before the election will be utilized as campaign fodder for one or more of the Presidential candidates. Senator McConnell’s plan to wait until after the election will keep the nominee(s) from being campaign pawns and wasting taxpayer monies on the non value-added shenigans that the Senate would play in a pre-election hearing process.

    • They have no right to stop or hold up because of the election. That is crap. You must be in the GOP party. That would explain your response to this.

      • According to the Senate Calendar 2016, the U.S. Senate will be in recess March 21-April 1st, May 2-6, May 30-June 3, July 1-5, July 18-September 5th, October 3rd, and October 7-November 14. Given the current docket, it would be difficult for nominees to complete the application process, the vetting process and then be scheduled for a Senate panel hearing before the Summer recess.

        The current Supreme Court hearing schedule ends this month. The Court will meet again September 26, 2016 and begin hearing arguments October 4, 2016. As noted above, the Senate will be in recess October 7-November 14th. This would mean the President would have to appoint a judge to the Court, whose tenure would expire at the end of the next Senate Session.

        Recent “social justice” cases heard by the Court include an abortion-rights case (Planned Parenthood) and a case involving sex offender registration requirements. These cases were heard without Justice Scalia or a 9th Justice.

        My party affiliation has no bearing upon my position. NASW works for its members and the government works for the citizens. Quantification/qualification for their work is part of their respective duties, accordingly.

      • Dear Frank,
        I am shocked that a licensed social worker and member of the prestigious NASW would stoop to Ad Hominem attacks instead of researching all sides of any issue. How will our profession ever gain the respect that it is due with comments such as yours. Lu

    • I agree. In fact the extreme left wing bias and politicization of the NASW and MSW programs in general regularly cause me to question my desire to be a part of such a biased profession and organization as well as MSW holders competency to be balanced and trained well enough to work in any clinical setting. In my opinion the profession takes its marching orders straight from Bolshevik central which discredits the profession as a whole.

      Many of my fellow students feel the same way and find the MSW program biased, without clinical merit and simply a tool of the regressive left. The degree will lose prestige if moderate, patriotic and non-anti white social workers and students do not start to stand up to these dangerous political neophyte sycophants.

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