WASHINGTON, May 10 (UPI) -- Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland submitted the traditional candidate questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, with MoveOn.org protesters gathering outside the committee's hearing room on Capitol Hill, holding signs telling Chairman Charles Grassley: "do your job."
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) has said he won't schedule confirmation hearings on the nomination of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly in February while on a hunting trip in West Texas.
In a statement issued March 16, 2016, Grassley said that a majority of the Senate "has decided to fulfill its constitutional role of advice and consent by withholding support for the nomination during a presidential election year,...."
The protest, organized by MoveOn.org, was made up of five people who say they supported Grassley before the chairman's commitment to blocking Obama's nominee.
"Sen. Grassley, you lost our respect and our votes," one sign read.
Republicans and Democrats have been at odds since Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead in his bed at the Cibolo Creek Ranch near Marfa, Texas, on the morning of Feb. 13, 2016. Republican leaders argue that in a raucous election year, and less than a year remaining in Obama's second term, leaving Scalia's seat vacant for the new president to fill is the right move. Democratic leaders argue it is Obama's constitutional duty as president to nominate a justice, while it is the Senate's duty to hold hearings and a vote.
The Constitution describes the Senate's role as providing "advice and consent" on Supreme Court nominees, but does not specify what this means.
Garland received significant bipartisan support when he was confirmed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia with a 76 to 23 vote.
The questionnaire Garland submitted includes 141 pages with answers and 2,066 pages of appendices.
"It includes key information on Chief Judge Garland's employment, honors and awards, published writings, litigated cases, judicial opinions, and speeches and interviews," the White House said in a statement. "We expect that upon receiving the questionnaire, Senate Judiciary Committee members will do their jobs by reviewing his record."
It is unclear if the submission of the questionnaire will have any effect on the nomination process.
"The American people should have a voice, not this lame duck president out the door," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell previously said. "All we are doing is following the long-standing tradition of not fulfilling a nomination in the middle of a presidential year."
The White House has repeatedly disagreed with the GOP's stance on the issue.
"Every nominee since 1875 who wasn't withdrawn from consideration has received a hearing and/or a vote," the White House said. "With more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history and a long record of public service, we expect the Senate will give Chief Judge Garland the same fair consideration as prior nominees."